A Cockney Rosebud

A bittersweet journey in the midst of the life and community of an East End of London family

About the Book

A Cockney Rosebud: A bittersweet journey in the midst of the life and community of an East End of London family

Enchanting Rosie is born post-World War 1—1920—but into what? Those few (male) breadwinners who returned from the bloody combat, would find the East End of London Docklands, ravaged, with little hope of regular work—if they could work, with life-changing injuries and psychological trauma.

The women remained strong, but in quiet despair. Families and communities supported each other, with their futures in question. Mothers reigned supreme, but alcohol and the public houses exerted their influence. Rosie might have changed the world. With talent, unfailing family and community bonds, and strong matriarchal role models, she had a chance. But the family was dysfunctional, and bonds break as families are distanced and communities scattered, and her time to bloom fades—with World War 2—into the war-torn earth.

Journey with Rosie’s memoir, through her childhood and formative years—1920s/1930s/1940s—as she captures her eternal memories, and I share them in this biography. Share her grief as her close family, home, possessions and history are wiped out, faith is tested to breaking point, and her dreams and ambitions are torn from her soul. But, also, wallow in the nostalgia of days past. Times without the internet and mobile phones. Times when children played in abandonment—and in the fresh air. Explore the social history of bygone days, of knitting, talking, cooking and wearing hats—and the lives of the proud East Enders. And rejoice that Rosie makes it through.

A Cockney Rosebud

About the Author

Writing under a pseudonym as Josie Bruce, I am a debut author who will immerse you in my living worlds of sights, feelings and smells—physical and psychological. Born a baby-boomer in the summer of 1951, I was a lonely child who didn’t have the opportunity to make friends. The youngest of five children, and with my parents working long hours to house and feed the family, I found solace in books and day-dreamed about becoming a ballerina, or perhaps a ballroom dancer. I had one talent, and that was writing, but it would take over sixty years to gain the confidence to share my writing with others. The moment is here. I write about real people, believing that everyone’s life is a story that could be told. ‘Together we make eternal memories’.
I love crossword puzzles and real-life television dramas, and my dogs.

Qn 1: Can you tell us more about your book, A Cockney Rosebud, What is it about?

This is the first book in a trilogy memoir. My mother had a promising start in life (born in 1920) but it was hampered by a dominant mother, absent father and then ripped away by World War 2. She survived 2 near death experiences, but lost all ambition and packed her talents away. However, she lived to 100 years, and left this world when she was ready. Book 1 takes the reader on a journey from 1920 to 1960, but also looking back to the late 1800s and ancestors, with immersive nostalgia.

Qn 2: Who do you think would be interested in this book, A Cockney Rosebud, is it directed at any particular market?

The book has a wide appeal, across the generations. Set in the East End of London, it has an appeal not unlike ‘Call the Midwife’ and will stir memories of family tales, whilst intriguing younger generations with its social history and strong communities. There is also an educational element in regard to the history of the time. I anticipate interest from the USA, Australia and Canada, where memories of World War 2 particularly, are still tangible.

Qn 3: Out of all the books in the world, and all the authors, which are your favourite and why?

I love books I can live in. They may be fiction, but they become real and I am there. Particular favourites are Jane Austen—Pride and Prejudice and Persuasion; Betty Smith— A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (I still cry, however many times I read it) and anything by Agatha Christie, whom I greatly admire.

Qn 4: What guidance would you offer to someone new, or trying to enhance their writing?

I lacked confidence that anyone would want to read my stories and never shared a page until I found an impartial developmental editor, who turned my world around. It has taken me 60 years to be brave enough to share my words as I am not good at dealing with rejection. I would say, believe in your talent, but share it relatively early to get an unbiased opinion.

Qn 5: Where can our readers find out more about you, and A Cockney Rosebud, do you have a website, or a way to be contacted?

I have an author website (that will be launched just before the books) and it is josiebruceworld.com. I am also on Facebook and Instagram as josiebruceworld.

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