When Charlie Trumper inherits the barrow his grandfather used to peddle fruit and vegetables in turn-of-the-century Whitechapel, England, he inherits his enterprising spirit as well. Charlie's deeply held ambition to raise himself out of the poverty of London's East End is destined to be realized, but there are many obstacles to overcome, including a tour of duty at the front in World War I, where he encounters the man who will become his lifelong enemy.
As the crow flies, it is only a few short miles from Whitechapel to Chelsea Terrace, the upscale London neighborhood where Trumper's department store - and the realization of all Charlie's dreams - will have its beginnings. But for Charlie, following the threads of love, ambition, and revenge, it will be an epic journey that carries him across three continents and through the triumphs and disasters of the 20th century.
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