Billie Jo - Kimberley Chambers
TERRY is a likeable villain with a heart of gold. Michelle is the alcoholic wife he hates and is planning to leave. Billie Jo is their daughter – adored by Terry, abused by Michelle. This is the Keane family, and their lives are about to be changed foreve
TERRY is a likeable villain with a heart of gold. Michelle is the alcoholic wife he hates and is planning to leave. Billie Jo is their daughter - adored by Terry, abused by Michelle.
This is the Keane family, and their lives are about to be changed forever in a series of plots worthy of EastEnders.
Kimberley Chambers' debut novel, Billie Jo (�6.99, Preface), is a kind of Catherine Cookson for the 21st century - with lots of swearing.
A pacy drama with constant boozing, it's evocative of a certain kind of tough Essex life, but you always sense there's a happy ending eventually.
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Right from the off, Ilford, Seven Kings and Romford get mentions as the heartland of this tale.
The Cross Keys pub, Dagenham, plays a central role later on and the mum of our main villain, Danny, lives in Heathway.
- 1 The schools in Barking and Dagenham rated outstanding by Ofsted
- 2 Barking and Dagenham rallies to give friends a prom night to remember
- 3 Appeal after man allegedly 'spits at' woman travelling through Whitechapel, West Ham and Barking
- 4 Mum plans 30-mile walk to Barking Station to raise money to help son take first steps
- 5 Weather warning in place with east London set for thundery weekend
- 6 Dagenham MP seeks views on CPZs after 'hundreds raise concerns'
- 7 London boroughs with fastest and slowest wage growth revealed
- 8 Barking and Dagenham racks up most blue badge-related fines, study shows
- 9 Admissions open for new Barking school
- 10 Ricardo Fuller death: Men from Dagenham and Plaistow wanted in connection
When Terry is killed in a road accident, Billie Jo's life spirals out of control. She falls head over heels for the handsome Danny, but he makes her pregnant on their first night together, cheats on her, does a brief stint in jail for his gangland boss, and - hooked on cocaine - rapes and beats her up.
But Billie is her father's daughter. She's resilient and you know she'll come out of this, it's just a question of how.
- LINDSAY JONES