Expect tension and drama in a tale that mixes religion, sex,
hatred and hopeless love, after an act of racist evil resonates from England to Jamaica, Canada and America.
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George Luckhurst is a bully and racist bigot, determined to control his family and force them to conform to his own twisted beliefs.
Alice Luckhurst, his eldest daughter, is feisty and fiercely independent, with her own ideas on how she wants to live her life.
Calvin Thomas is her lover.
And he is black.
One terrible night in 1922, these three are joined in a gruesome ballet that totally alters their own lives, and the future of everyone around them.
Although troubled by feelings of guilt, George cannot escape from his firmly held beliefs, no matter how distorted. He attempts to find salvation by joining a fundamental religious sect.
Two years later, Jimmy Whitehead is born to George’s younger daughter, Ivy. He grows up against the background of looming war, hunger and deprivation in 1930s England. But though naïve, he is also ambitious and determined to escape from the suffocating poverty endured by his family.
Just then they heard footsteps in the passageway. The door burst open. Two red-faced burly men holding billiard cues entered. They were grinning in anticipation. George followed them in.
The first man jabbed viciously at Calvin, but he jumped sideways, easily avoiding the cue. “Har! Don’t like that do yer, nigger bastard!”
Alice screamed “No!” and attempted to shield her lover, but George strode across the room and flung his arms around her, pinning her arms to her sides. He twisted his head and shouted over his shoulder, “Get on with it! Don’t just stand there!”
The men grabbed Calvin and dragged him into the passage. He tried to resist, but they were too strong for him and were enjoying the sport. “Shut up you black bastard!” snarled the first man, a huge barge captain named Craddock, “This is what you get for fuckin’ with our white women!” He swung the heavy end of the billiard cue and crashed it across Calvin’s back and shoulders. Calvin started to cry out, but it was cut off by a vicious punch in the mouth by the other bargeman. He spat blood and bits of teeth.
Alice shouted and struggled to get free, but George tightened his grip. She kicked backwards, and then dragged her foot down his shin, stamping with her heel on his foot. He swore and loosened his grip slightly. She broke free and ran into the passage. Craddock’s henchman saw her coming and shouted, “Sorry miss,” and punched her in the face. She went down and lay dazed on the floor. There were more shouts, thuds and blows as the bargemen continued to beat Calvin.