Hearts of Gold is the first in a series of eight books following the fortunes of a small community in Pontypridd, Wales. Catrin Collier has been described as “The Welsh Maeve Binchy”. Trainee midwife Bethan Powell lives in the shadow of the workhouse during the Depression. It’s difficult to say which is harder for her and fellow nurse Laura Ronconi – their gruelling work in the hospital, or the frictions and financial hardships at home. Bethan’s Communist miner father, rigidly Chapel mother, unruly brothers and delightful but dubiously honest aunt, and Laura’s vast Italian cafe-running family, cause the girls as much worry as any strict ward sister. But working-class Pontypridd agrees on one thing – the ‘crache’, or gentry, who live in the big houses on the Common, may be just the other side of town, but they inhabit a different world. So when Bethan and Laura are smitten by two young doctors, can love really bridge the divide? Or is the pull of family too strong, the gulf too wide?
The series was adapted for TV by the BBC. Ideal for readers who have enjoyed books by Maeve Binchy, Catherine Cookson and Marie Maxwell.