Catherine Cookson was an illegitimate child brought up in one of the poorest places in the western world. She left school at 13 to become a domestic servant and was later employed in a workhouse laundry. Yet she became one of the best selling novelists of all time and one of the richest women in Britain. Her story is as fascinating as any of her novels, with a plot that includes abandonment, abuse, alcoholism, extreme poverty, and a love affair that almost wrecked Catherine’s life and her marriage. She survived it all because she was driven by an ambition so strong it overcame everything to make her a household name. Drawing on tapes recorded by Catherine Cookson herself, personal testimony and original research, Kathleen Jones tells the story of Catherine Cookson’s life and goes on a quest to find her absent father - the enigmatic ‘Alexander Davies’.