When The Sun Shines: A Novella (The Liverpool Series)
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First Published on Nov 24 2017
Josie wouldn't have to pretend to be happy.
She'd stop buying clothes from catalogues to cheer herself up, and she wouldn't have to hide the bills.
All she wants is a room of her own, but she's got more chance of flying to the moon on a homemade space wagon because right now there's nothing in her pockets except a bit of fluff.
When she looks at the streets around her, all she sees is poverty because it's 1970s inner-city Liverpool and that's the way it was.
Everyone says if you don't laugh you'll cry, so Josie laughs a lot, but sometimes her smile doesn't reach her eyes.
She doesn't dare complain.
Nobody likes a moaner, and she knows plenty who are worse off than her, but what's so wrong with wanting something more?
Her dreams aren't big - her own little flat, hot water and an inside toilet but most of all some privacy.
She's too old to live with watchful parents and bickering brothers, not to mention the foul-mouthed budgie.
Still, she'd do anything for them.
Her family are everything to her even though they drive her mad.
They're not the only ones driving her mad. Working in Smarmdales department store means long hours and low pay.
She's supposed to be grateful to have a job.
She would be sort of - if she didn't have a horrible boss.
Snarky Smedders doesn't like her attitude.
She's not grateful enough for him.
He follows her around hoping to catch her out - all he wants is Josie gone.
It's not fair, she works hard and never does anything wrong - unless there’s something wrong with laughing?
She can’t help laughing at Smedders - if she didn’t laugh at his petty rules, she’d cry.
She lives for the weekend when she glams up and hits the pub with friends.That's where she meets a smiling stranger who wants to take her out.
Mick looks like he'd help an old lady across the road, do her shopping and make her a pot of chicken soup as well.
If looks were everything, he would be the man for her, but what's he really like?
All she knows is Mick's not like anyone else she knows.
It's not just his good job and fast car - he makes her laugh, and she needs that.
He could change everything. Trouble is there's a niggle in the back of Josie's mind.
It's like an itch she can't scratch.
Should she trust his altar boy smile?
Filled with fun, nostalgia and hope this funny, heartwarming story is a look back to gritty 1970s.
Grace Jolliffe is the award-winning author of Liverpool based The Sunshine Girl, Sweet Little Things, and Piggy Monk Square.
Her next novel, Kindness and Strangers will be out soon.
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