by Josephine Cox
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Set in 1952, this story begins when three people meet in a churchyard. One is a local farmer, Ben Morris, walking through the churchyard from his farmhouse. The other two, Lucy and Eileen Baker, are mother and daughter, bringing flowers to lay at the resting place of a man by the name of Barney Davidson. There is an air of mystery about them that greatly intrigues Ben. When the older woman stumbles, Ben offers to help. The offer is refused, but in that moment of contact with the younger of the two women, he finds himself oddly drawn to her. When a handbag is found, Ben is nominated to return it to an address found inside. He goes to an old Edwardian house that is rumoured to have been a place of ill-repute many years ago. For reasons unknown, this rumour is vigorously denied by an elder who has lived in the hamlet of Salford all her life. When Ben returns with the handbag and is invited into the house, he is caught up in circumstances that change his life forever. The extraordinary events centre on Ben and Eileen. As the story unfolds, the years fall away, and unsuspecting people are drawn together from both sides of the Atlantic. At long last, the real truth about Barney Davidson is revealed. He was indeed a man amongst men. What he did changed lives in ways that could never have been imagined.