But the powerful friendships cannot ultimately be broken. In Robert Douglas's first novel, he recreates a time and place particular to Glasgow but to which everyone will relate.
It is ten years since we last visited the close at 18 Dalbeattie Street in Maryhill.
The stalwarts are still there...Ella, Drena, Rhea and 'Granny' Thomson (86).
Irma the German war bride speaks fluent Scots nowadays. Well, 'Fluent' if you were brought up in the same close as the Broons and Oor Wullie.
Glasgow's beloved trams still run on the Maryhill Road. But not for long. There will not be a tramcar left in Glasgow by the end of next year. The new tenant, Frank Galloway knows all about this - he's a driver. The other new arrival is Ruby Baxter who impresses no one with her attitude - as Granny Thomson says 'She's no better than she ought to be, that yin!'
Robert Douglas brings his usual blend of laughter and tears to this latest novel and his many fans will not be disappointed.