Queenie Brogan wasn’t always an East End matriarch. Many years ago, before she married Fergus, she was Philomena Dooley, a daughter of Irish Travellers, planning to wed her childhood sweetheart, Patrick Mahone.
But when tragedy struck and Patrick’s narrow-minded sister, Nora, intervened, the lovers were torn apart.
Fate can be cruel, and when Queenie arrives in London she finds that Patrick Mahon is her parish priest, and that the love she had tried to suppress flares again in her heart.
But now in the final months of the Second World War, Queenie discovers Father Mahon is dying and must face losing him forever.
Can she finally tell him the secret she has kept for over fifty years or will Nora once again come between them?
And if Queenie does decide to finally tell Patrick, could the truth destroy the Brogan family?
Jean writes about wartime Christmas in the East End in her feature “Put those Christmas lights out!” The Home Front during World War Two.