Set in Britain during the 1950s, this absorbing novel follows the intertwined fates of people crossing boundaries in their lives. As a teenager in the small northern town of Wigton, Joe Richardson falls in love with Rachel, whose life threatens to be wrenched from its roots. His parents, Sam and Ellen, face the frontiers of middle age, while Joe finds himself steered to new exhilarations and dislocations as the world outside home beckons. Increasingly intoxicated with Rachel and drawn more deeply into work at school, Joe is swept into situations that seem beyond his control.
Alive with a wide cast of characters from scavenging tinkers to distinguished intellectuals, Crossing the Lines vividly portrays the spirit of the mid-century and the profound changes taking place at the time - in morals, religion, music and class. As moving as it is evocative, this masterly novel follows Melvyn Bragg's highly acclaimed
The Soldier's Return and A Son of War.