There is no doubt about it - the Heath children have tennis in their blood. Their grandfather and father before them had been top players, and the twins are champion material. Then Nicky - cheeky, rebellious Nicky - starts to practise in secret, but talented at tennis as she is, the ambitious Nicky first has battles to win with herself.
Every family has its secrets, but it was a huge surprise to the three young Forbeses, fresh from a country vicarage, to discover that their grandmother was a famous actress. Sent to live with her in bombed-out, wartime London, they soon discovered that they were expected to follow in the family footsteps - to the footlights.
Gus the clown is Peter and Santa's only living relative, and escape to the circus seems a better idea to them than an orphanage. But Gus will keep the children only if they make themselves useful - and they have to fight hard to really belong to the circus.
The landmark novel about the cultural meaning of race, first published in 1929, is a remarkably candid exploration of shifting racial and sexual boundaries which tells the story of an two African-American woman who must confront lies and secret fears.