No One But You
Genre: Women’s Fiction
Publisher: Filament Publishing
The book is a fictional account of a young girl’s story based on the true life of Tessa Levy, the author, who co-wrote the book with her youngest daughter Shelley Cassidy. From the post-war East End of London, to the high life of America and back again. It portrays a young girl’s yearning for adventure and opportunity and ultimately love, on both sides of the Atlantic.
Tessa, the main character, was the youngest child of a large family and had the responsibility of caring for her beloved dying mother. When her father secretly marries another woman, who moves into their home with her three children, Tessa’s world is shattered. She seeks solace from distant cousins whom she has never met in America, with whom she secretly commences correspondence. She reveals her situation and she is invited to stay with her cousins.
At the tender age of 17, she sets off on the adventure of a lifetime. A year and a half later, she returns to England as a glamorous young women, having fallen in love for the first time. However, she crosses the cultural divide and struggles to resettle, despite her family’s best efforts to reintegrate her into their Jewish community in London. Eventually meeting the man she will marry, she suffers another painful premature family death.
She embarks on motherhood and a career, which she loves and excels at. However, life continues to challenge her happiness and she finds herself torn between the two loves of her life: the handsome, poetic and artistic Gus in America, and the charismatic, successful, but disloyal David in England, both so very different.
Once again, the Atlantic splits her heart. Her romantic adventure, back and forth between the two countries, ultimately answer the underlying theme of the book; whether it is possible to love two men in one life.
About the Author:
Tessa Levy was born in the in the East End of London, as the youngest of six children in a Jewish family; Russian immigrants to England before the Second World War. The author, like her brothers in the fashion business and her husband in the nightclub trade of Soho, made a success of her antique business – a truly entrepreneurial woman in an era when business was dominated by men – specialising in Imari porcelain and creating an established presence in the Kensington Pavilion.
Now in her 80s, Tessa resides in West London, opposite Hyde Park, and maintains one foot on either side of the pond. No One But You is Tessa Levy’s first book, based on real events, which brings to light a topical immigrant family story of displacement, hardship, disease and death, but also of inclusion, friendship, love and success. It crosses the divide not only between two cultural differences, but also two faiths and families.