Hurt You, Burn You, Sting You
A Few Seasides Ago
To her class of eleven year olds, Miss Burton appeared to be a very old lady. They professed to be glad she was retiring at last. Secretly, many were sorry to see her go. Strict but fair, she always had time to listen to them. Few stopped to wonder what her life had been like or whether she even existed outside of the classroom. If they had known Betty Burton's story, they would have been astounded.
Today, they would have labelled TomTom as Autistic. In the late Sixties, he was just odd. His big, well a bit bigger sister, Eilish, adores him and accompanies him on their journey through childhood. She, at least, finds her escape by trying to enter into his world, whilst hoping to avoid the reality around her. Let the adults do what they will, while there is bread and jam there is hope.
Well, that depends...
Imagine sitting on a bench on a station platform and looking up to see yourself staring back from the train just pulling out. Not the you that you are now, but the you of twenty-five years past.
When this happens to Lizzie as the book opens in 1978, she reacts slowly, allowing the train to depart Edgware Road station, leaving her with just that glimpse.
Lizzie relives her story whilst searching for the daughter she gave up for adoption, the daughter she believes she has seen again. She spends any spare time she has travelling up and down the Bakerloo Line between Edgware Road and Harrow and Wealdstone, her home stop.