The Characters


Hi, I’m Jo, a young woman from working-class Manchester in the 1950s. Growing up, I had to learn how to take care of myself because of my mother’s issues with alcohol and men. Despite this, I try to find happiness in the small things like reading, listening to jazz music, and dreaming about my future.

Things become complicated when I fall in love with Jimmy, a young black sailor, and find out that I’m pregnant. This unexpected turn of events forces me to make some tough choices about my future and my child’s.


Hello, my name is Helen and I’m from working-class Manchester in the 1950s. I’m a single mother and have struggled with alcoholism and relationships throughout my life. Despite these issues, I try my best to provide for my daughter and make a good life for us.

My daughter, Jo, has had to learn how to be independent from a young age because of my problems. I know I’ve made mistakes, but I love her deeply and want the best for her.


Peter Smith

Hi, my name is Peter Smith and I’m a character from a story set in 1950s Manchester, England. I come from a middle-class background and have a stable job as a sales representative.

I meet Jo and Helen and am drawn to Jo’s independent spirit and unique outlook on life. We start a romantic relationship, but I struggle to understand her working-class background and the challenges she faces because of it.

As someone from a different class and social background, I have a lot to learn about the realities of life for working-class individuals like Jo and Helen. My story is one of growth and understanding, as I come to appreciate their struggles and learn to see the world through a different lens.

Geoffrey Ingram

Hello, my name is Geoffrey Ingram  I come from a wealthy background and have a privileged life, with access to the best education and opportunities.

I meet Jo and Helen through my work as an art student, and am fascinated by Jo’s unique outlook on life and her working-class background. I offer to help her and her mother by providing them with a place to live, but my intentions are not entirely altruistic.

As someone from a higher social class, I struggle to understand the challenges faced by Jo and Helen and the realities of life for working-class individuals. My story is one of moral complexity, as I grapple with my privilege and the impact it has on those around me.

Jimmie (“The Boy”)

Hi, I’m Jimmie, but most people call me “The Boy.” I’m a young black sailor who meets Jo in Manchester, England in the 1950s. I’m fascinated by her independent spirit and we start a romantic relationship, but our love is complicated by my duty in the navy and the unexpected pregnancy that follows.

As a black man in that time, I faced a lot of discrimination and prejudice. Despite this, I tried to make the most of my time in England and fell in love with Jo despite our different backgrounds.