Liverpool late 1950s. This is a story of three people: a suppressed mother; a father, projectionist at the local cinema which has seen better days; and their daughter Martha. It is a time of many escapes: Nureyev defects in London; Gagarin escapes the earth's atmosphere to be the first man in space; the Beatles escape the dreariness of Liverpool to seek their fortune in Hamburg. In Britain the drab 50s are giving way to the lively 60s and the young sense it. With shades of Billy Liar, and Absolute Beginners, this novel brilliantly captures that longing for freedom. Sixteen year old Martha is leaving home.