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With the Great War still raw in the memory and life in the 1920s mining village of Whitton Grange hard and dangerous, Louie Kirkup dreams of a better future. But with a sick mother and a large family of pitman brothers and father, the daily burdens fall heavily on her young shoulders. She fears becoming a spinster drudge until she sets eyes on 'Red' Sam Ritson – hard, muscled and a natural leader – climb into the boxing ring at the Durham Miners' Gala and determines to marry him. But Sam, wedded to his battle for his fellow miners against the ruthless mine owner Seward-Scott, is no ideal husband. As tensions increase and the General Strike looms, Louie's brother Eb begins an affair with Eleanor, the mine owner's wife. With the miners locked out of work, Louie fears for the fate of her village and her unborn child. As the strain takes its tragic toll, loving and loyal Louie must stay strong for them all.
Written with compassion, humour and a vivid immediacy, The Hungry Hills is an unforgettable saga of two very different families living through the dramas of 1920s Britain. The Hungry Hills was shortlisted for The Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year Award and is the first in the Durham Mining Trilogy.