Opal Plumstead might be plain, but she has always been fiercely intelligent. Yet her scholarship and dreams of university are snatched away when her father is sent to prison, and fourteen-year-old Opal must start work at the Fairy Glen sweet factory to support her family.
Opal struggles to get along with the other workers, who think her snobby and stuck-up. But Opal idolises Mrs Roberts, the factory’s beautiful, dignified owner, who introduces Opal to the legendary Mrs Pankhurst and her fellow Suffragettes. And when Opal meets Morgan — Mrs Roberts’ handsome son, and the heir to Fairy Glen — she believes she has found her soulmate. But the First World War is about to begin, and will change Opal’s life for ever.
Interested in learning more about Newham Bookshop and some of the people connected with it? We have four lessons for classroom or family use developed from On the Record’s oral history project centered around Newham Bookshop, Writing and Reading Newham. Click here for full details.
We are proud that Newham Bookshop is LoveReading’s Bookshop of the Month. The article features a Q&A with Vivian Archer, which you can read here.