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Penelope¿s story starts in Ireland, moves to mainland Greece and then on to Cyprus, Egypt and England. She was the youngest of the three daughters born to an Irish father and a Greek mother; both of whom had died by the time she was ten. She lived with wealthy guardians an Alexandria for most of her young life, being groomed for eventual marriage to a Greek merchant. Quite by chance, she meets Jeffrey, a young corporal in the British army, falls in love, elopes, and marries him in Jerusalem. Banished from her Greek family, she adopts the role of wife of an NCO but her main ambition is to become accepted as a British citizen and return, one day, to her `class¿. Following her husband¿s posting to Mesopotamia, she travels to England to live with his working class family and is forced to earn a living for the first time in her life. Penelope earns their love and the respect of the people of a little market town in Hampshire. Then begins a pattern of life close to that of her namesake in mythology ¿ her husband is continually fighting wars around the world. The onset of the Second World War only emphasises that pattern and, now with two children, she, like millions of other British women, fights her own war on the Home Front. With the war over, Penelope persuades Jeffrey to leave the army and take a job in civilian life into which he has difficulty settling. Jeffrey dies and Penelope lives a comfortable life with her dog and amongst friends. One day, just before she dies, Penelope has a Greek visitor.
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