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Seven-year-old Ailsa Dunn's Ma is prettier than all the other mothers, her Da is the most handsome man in the world. They're made for each other... But the grown-up world is more complicated than that, and when alcohol intrudes, violence becomes the norm and unpredictability reigns - and the ground shifts beneath Ailsa's small feet.
Ailsa and her big sister Morag - both Ailsa's cruellest tormentor and her staunchest defender - are removed from the care of their adored parents and enrolled at McGregor's Orphan Homes, a world away from their Wallace Street tenement. Here, the rules are strict: there are chores, there are curfews, the ever-present threat of Auntie Vera and bitter resignation as visits from Ma and Da become fewer and further between. But there's also fish and chips, a holiday by the sea, a pillowcase full of toys at Christmas and, life-changing for Ailsa, an inspirational teacher and the chance discovery of a rare musical talent that will give her the opportunity to take her future into own hands.
The Sun Hasn't Fallen From the Sky is a vibrant portrait of two sisters growing up together in 1970s Glasgow as their family falls apart; a tender childhood memoir both heartbreaking and uplifting.
- Bloomsbury Publishing, January 2011
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