Harriet bolt, born in 1885, into a poor family living in Bedminster, Bristol, was forced dot defend her mother against an alcoholic father. Harriet lost her fist husband in a mining accident, leaving her with two young children in the days w3hen there was no social security. married to her second husband for only three years, he was sent to the Front in the Great War, leaving Harriet to run the family shop and look after her children. On his return from the war, life settled down, their children grew up, the Harriet and her family encountered the tribulations of the Second World War and the devastations it wreaked on the Bristol she loved. After the war, Harriet's family grew and prospered, to a level unthinkable to Harriet's parents. In spite of much of her life being an uphill struggle, the book is both funny and harrowing in turn.
During her eighty-three years of life the changes Harriet experienced were inextricable entwined with the social, economic and cultural changes of her immediate environment and the wider world. In her lifetime she had seen five British monarchs and two world wars, working-class women, who were of little account when Harriet was a child, had been given the vote and even become Members of Parliament: transport had evolved from horse and cart to jet aircraft. this is a true story of Harriet's triumphs and tears, over a period of time when the world changed irrevocably for everyone.