Through the eyes of Catherine, whose husband has swapped her for a younger woman, draw solace and inspiration from generations of the Squire family of Nottingham and Quorn.
Catherine’s is fascinated by World War I soldier The Golden Boy, who passes to her, years after his death, a manuscript including correspondence with his diplomat Uncle Hammy and a jewel, central to the family story. She tracks the journey of aunt Polly, a milliner girl from Nottingham, to become companion to an Austrian countess, start a family with an Irish groom and then end up stranded in Russia after the Revolution. She searches for the Russian branch of the family.
Follow the antics of her brother “Mr Angry” in campaigns against whatever he thinks is wrong or just irritates him. Does he have a point or is this just a way of showing off? Has he bitten off more than he can chew when he targets German car firms and a British international bank?
The central figure William Squire Chemist of Note of Nottingham talks to his grandson Tom about his friendship with the amazing champion prize-fighter Bendigo, and about the ups and downs of his own family. He impresses on Tom the importance of regaining the Manor House in Quorn, which a Squire couple briefly occupied long ago. He argues against all wars, but several of the men end up fighting them anyway. He lives to celebrate his hundredth birthday at a great family gathering.
See how the women of the family, especially four great Catherines, both marshal and hold the family together. Today’s Catherine becomes the leader of the family, and may be finding a way forward, including with a new man, after the end of her marriage.
This is a true story, except for the bits I invented!