A magical love story- and a richly detailed evocation of a great city.
1909, and life is hard for young Poppy Powers.
Her dad has disappeared-gone to a season in the North somewhere and failed to return-leaving her mum to earn their keep and Poppy doing chores for Gran. Poppy dreams of being a musician like dad, but Gran would never allow it, and Gran’s rule is absolute in Cinnamon Alley.
There is more than a littleof Gran’s stubbornness and determination in Poppy, however and the discovery of her Dad’s saxophone, secret music lessons and the Salvation Army band bring the stirrings of possibility. Waitressing in the drinking clubs during the terrible Great Was, Poppy and her dreams find a direction. It is there she falls in love, tragically and irrevocably, with the American Scott Warrender.
Alone and destined to rely on her own talents, Poppy, with few loyal friends and a flair for dance music, forms the Power Girls, the first all-female band. The fight for respect and recognition is doubly hard for women, but this is the heady Roaring Twenties and all the Bright Young Things are desperate to dance. Among them is Roddy Ffitch. Charming, rich, madly in love with Poppy, he introduces her to a dangerous world of endless parties and fast cars. But can he help her forget Scott?
From smoky clubs to ocean liners, from North Millwall to New York, though the war, the reckless dancing years and the Wall Street Crash, Poppy is determined to succeed, and to make her own way on her own terms. Only her last ambition remains unfulfilled-to share it all with the man she loves. But, maybe after all, what Poppy craves is just a step from Cinnamon Alley.