The People's Friend

We talk to Wayne Brookes about Ruth Hamilton’s book “Daughters Of Penny Lane”

Over the months ahead, we’ll be looking at new releases by some of our favourite authors. This month, Editor Wayne Brookes talks to us about “Daughters of Penny Lane”, the most recent book by the late Ruth Hamilton . . .


Q Could you tell us a little about the plot of the book? A “Daughters Of Penny Lane” is a gripping and heartwarmi­ng tale of two sisters returning to Liverpool’s Penny Lane after World War II. There they both hope to rebuild their lives, but a controllin­g mother who harbours too many secrets is about to get in their way. It’s full of Ruth’s wit, warmth and fabulous twists.


What was Ruth’s connection to Liverpool? A Ruth was originally from Bolton but moved to Liverpool many years ago. She was very proud of her roots, but she adored the city of Liverpool. My first visit to Liverpool was to visit Ruth and she insisted on making our taxi driver drive us around the sights. She knew everything about Liverpool’s history and although she started her career writing about Bolton, Liverpool held a very special place in her heart.

Q Did Ruth read her own reviews?

A I don’t believe she did. Ruth loved to write and tell stories and she would get lots of fan mail. If her fans loved what she was doing then I don’t think she cared what reviewers thought. She instinctiv­ely knew what her fans wanted and so she gave it to them.

Q Which of Ruth’s books is your favourite and why?

A “That Liverpool Girl” is one of my favourites because it was the first book that I worked on with Ruth. We had so much fun working together on that book. We were both new to each other and we just hit it off. I miss those laughs.

Q Was Ruth always bubbling over with story ideas?

A She certainly was. Friday mornings were always spent on the phone to Ruth. In those conversati­ons, we would talk about everything from the book she was currently writing to ideas for the next two and beyond. I don’t think a day went by that Ruth wasn’t thinking about her next story.

Q Why do you like most about Ruth’s writing?

A Ruth’s voice is what I love most about her work. You only have to read the first page and you know she has written it. You can hear the author herself in every word, and that is a special writer. Q Are there any more stories to come from Ruth? A There is one more book to come next year. This was the book that Ruth had just finished before she passed away, and so it was our last together. She called it “Beyond Strawberry Field”. Join us in our August 19 issue when we talk to Mary Wood about her book “Tomorrow Brings Sorrow”.

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