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Gladys | Book 1

The Girl from Old Nichol

By Betty Annand

You can never escape your past...

Born into extreme poverty in the London slums, young Gladys Tunner strives to survive her circumstances, including her alcoholic parents. Desperation and dreams for a better life are constant. Her childhood best friend and protector, Toughie, looks after her until she’s forced to escape into the English countryside, creating an elaborate masquerade that leads to both love and heartbreak.

Under a new identity, Gladys finds work at an inn, first as a housemaid, then later as a barmaid. She gains a dear friend and, eventually, two well-off suitors to choose from. Once married, Gladys enjoys a life of privilege she’d only dared to dream of. But shortly after the birth of her daughter, disaster strikes when Gladys learns that her beloved husband has been killed. With his death, Gladys begins to rely on her new family, but misfortune continues to plague her. Can she survive the capricious hand of fate with her masquerade intact, or will she die as she began, a pauper in the worst of London’s slums?

This rich and compelling novel is a story of true love and longing, both for a new future and the memories of the past. You’ll hope the best for Gladys, no matter which path she takes.


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Betty Annand

Betty Annand is the author of The Girl from Old Nichol and The Woman from Dover. Born in Vancouver, B.C., in 1927, she has resided in the Comox Valley on Vancouver Island since the age of ten. Widowed since 2002, she has enjoyed doing volunteer work at her church, the local hospital, and a local theatre, where she writes and directs plays for the seniors group. She resides in the house that she and her husband built sixty years ago and enjoys spending time with her family, who still live on the island. She is the author of three non-fiction books, Growing up in the White House, Voices from Bevan, and Voices from Courtenay Past.