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.
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Alison Gangel started her teaching career as Head of Music at a comprehensive school in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, and now teaches English at a Catholic comprehensive school in Gateshead. She has lived in Newcastle-upon-Tyne for over twenty years with her daughters Lorna and Jessica. Her work has been broadcast on BBC Radio 3. The Sun Hasn't Fallen From the Sky is her first book.Review:
'Touching and funny, Alison Gangel's memoir is an exceptionally honest and brave piece of writing. Her detailed observation and keen ear for dialogue bring the child's perspective vividly to life' Anne Donovan 'A vibrant story of two sisters growing up in '70s Glasgow ... Gangel expertly shows how the bonds of sisterhood cause us to love and despise our siblings in equal measure' Glamour 'A gleaming gem of a memoir' Daily Express 'A harrowing account of an upbringing that was as damaging as it was unforgettable' Times Literary Supplement
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