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HaBO: Heathrow in 1988

Emily wrote in with a request for her friend, S. (Not me! I swear! I've never bought a book at Heathrow, even if my reading history is one big HaBO):

I'm hoping this awesome site and its readers might Help a Bitch Out. There's
a book I'm dying to read, as described to me by my friend S. She's been
looking for it for a reread lo these many years, and this is her

“I bought it in Heathrow Airport in 1988. It had a white cover with pink and
silver lettering. An English upper-class daughter of a mine executive
dabbles in socialist causes, and falls in love with a rough-but-charming
miner. The hero has bigger dreams than mining, but went down the mines to
save his family and is now part of a big countrywide coal strike.”

“The heroine's father (the mine executive) was standard-issue Evil: oppressive, misogynist, etc.

The book was set in the teens or '20s of the twentieth century, around the time of the national
coal strike in England. There was some suffragette background stuff. The heroine had a
yellow dress. The hero had scars, or was otherwise somehow physically marked by his time in the mines.”

That sounds right up my alley, and I know S would love to reread it. If you can help, we'd much appreciate it.

Now I'm wondering: which bookshop is the best one at Heathrow? I've only been to Gatwick, and never for book shopping. Anyone recognize this book?


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  1. 1
    Joanna S. says:

    Honestly, I don’t know the answer to this one, but I’m wondering if Suzanne Collins (author of _The Hunger Games_ Trilogy) read this one back in the day!

  2. 2
    Floffy1983 says:

    side note, i find tha gatwick’s WHS books is much better and Heathrow’s.

  3. 3
    Aella says:

    I recently walked into the WHS at Gatwick station to find that they had no books. None at all!

    That was a very long and bookless train journey.

  4. 4
    Virginia E says:

    My guess is that it’s probably going to be a Zebra title. But the romances that I remember involved mining in the US. I’ll keep thinking.

  5. 5
    Floffy1983 says:

    WHS books at gatwick: south terminal, downstairs, behind the escalators

  6. 6
    ch says:

    Sounds a little like Forever & Ever by Patricia Gaffney.

  7. 7
    Ros Clarke says:

    I keep thinking Catherine Cookson, but I know that’s wrong.

  8. 8
    Annie Given says:

    Immediate thought: Catherine Cookson but I couldn’t suggest a title as its years since I read any of hers.  There are a few English authors who specialise in this genre of early 20th -century romance across social class divisions, but Cookson is probably the Tops.
    Possibly try Cookson in Amazon UK and look at the ‘similar authors’ they suggest?

  9. 9
    Bella Leone says:

    I love finding things online. I am such a Carmen San Diego nerd.
    Is this it?
    It has a similar summary and it has a pink, grey/silver, and black cover. Looks like an interesting read :)

  10. 10
    Susan Frisbee says:

    I was also thinking…Catherine Cookson.

  11. 11
    Jane Peach says:

    I’m thinking it was a Jude Devereaux – I haven’t been able to turn it up yet.

  12. 12
    Barb in Maryland says:

    Bella, the book you found looks interesting,but it was published too recently. But that’s all I’ve got.  Alas, I am drawing a blank, especially as I was originally thinking Cookson and that’s not right.

  13. 13
    Virginia E says:

    Bella’s book was previously published in 1997, which is still too new. However, it is a reminder to check for previous editions if a book sounds promising.

  14. 14

    Whether you’re at Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted, Luton … they’re all WH Smith Travel bookshops, now.

    Aella, you probably were in the WH Smith newsagent, rather than the book shop. In many places (train stations and service stations) they’re combined, but in the bigger airports they separate the two out.

  15. 15
    willaful says:

    I was also thinking Gaffney.

  16. 16
    Elizabeth Murchison says:

    It reminds me a bit of Zola’s Germinal, but that definitely took place in France and had no HEA.

  17. 17
    Emily says:

    Thank you all SO MUCH! S said the Gaffney sounds right. I really appreciate it! (I’m going to steal it for a read as soon as she’s done with a re-read…)

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