1939, and Will and Alice are evacuated to a granite farm in north Cornwall, perched on a windswept cliff.
There they meet the farmer's daughter, Maggie, and against fields of shimmering barley and a sky that stretches forever, enjoy a childhood largely protected from the ravages of war. But in the sweltering summer of 1943 something happens that will have tragic consequences.
A small lie escalates. Over 70 years on Alice is determined to atone for her behaviour - but has she left it too late? 2014, and Maggie's granddaughter Lucy flees to the childhood home she couldn't wait to leave thirteen years earlier, marriage over; career apparently ended thanks to one terrible mistake.
Can she rebuild herself and the family farm? And can she help her grandmother, plagued by a secret, to find some lasting peace? This is a novel about identity and belonging; guilt, regret and atonement; the unrealistic expectations placed on children and the pain of coming of age.
It's about small lies and dark secrets. But above all it's about a beautiful, desolate, complex place.
- Format: Hardback
- Pages: 320 pages
- Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton General Division
- Publication Date: 30/06/2016
- Category: Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)
- ISBN: 9781444792287