When Sorry Is Not Enough

Edinburgh’s Millie Gray continues the story of Sally, her family and friends, including the friends who would make good enemies. Four years on, the remarkable Sally has overcome her lack of education and opportunity and forged a career for herself as a tough but fair Leith businesswoman. She has her own house, she owns the lease on two pubs and runs a boarding house out Portobello way.

She might even consider herself gentrified. But her family and friends ensure she never forgets her roots. Her brother Luke returns from leave in the Hong Kong police service hoping to clear the name of his friend ‘Irish’ who is in prison for murdering his wife. In order to do this, he is going to have to uncover foul play by his former Edinburgh colleagues.

While everyone around Sally finds love and happiness, there is never to be a trusting and trusted relationship for Sally as, once again, she faces humiliation and betrayal while trying to do the right thing herself.

Millie Gray is a first rate storyteller and her personal knowledge of Leith is ingrained on every page she writes, bringing an authority to her writing that makes it charming and attractive, despite its often gruesome scenes. Indeed there is a lot of, if not Millie herself, her mother and grandmother, in Sally and Flora. The poverty and hardship she describes in her novels were exactly what she saw around her every day. It was normal. There was no welfare state and people made do and helped each other out.

Similarly, the Leith police in the story (couldn’t resist that) may not be based on her husband Bob, a retired policeman, but you can be sure that his input has helped to keep the realism that people love, too.

Whether or not we have seen the last of Sally, I’m not able to say, but When Sorry is Not Enough is set in the 1970s and although Sally’s focus is moving from Leith to Portobello, I can’t believe that Millie will resist the temptation to write about the Leith of today at some point.

When Sorry is Not Enough is available in paperback and kindle editions

About Suse Coon

Suse Coon started life training to be an architect but ended up as a fashion buyer then civil servant. After some time out to bring up her family of three, she returned to what had been a hobby and entered the field of freelance journalism. After becoming regional correspondent, then editor of the orienteering magazine CompassSport, she formed Pages Editorial & Publishing Services. In this guise, West Lothian Life was launched, while Suse maintained a level of freelancing and wrote the award winning children's novel Richard's Castle. In 1999, Suse bought over CompassSport and found her time taken up pretty well exclusively with the two magazines. In 2004, West Lothian Life was expanded to form Lothian Life, however, the workload was too great. In 2006, CompassSport was sold and Suse concentrated on the web version of Lothian Life. Her hobbies include gardening, orienteering, sea kayaking and Tai Chi.
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