It is 1947, the worst winter in England since records began, and even the sea is frozen. For the women living in the little fishing port of Bexham, the chronic lack of everything from fuel to food has left them reeling.
When Waldo Astley drives through thick Sussex snow into the village in his large American Buick, it is to find Bexham filled not just with grumbling residents, but frustrated wives and mothers forced back behind their stoves after the joy of the victory for which they fought so hard on the home front. Government directives have ensured that the returning men resumed the jobs their women managed so brilliantly through the gruelling years of war.
But Waldo is no ordinary character, and while he has come to Bexham on a personal mission, his effect on all the residents is as warming as the electricity of which there is still such a shortage. For Judy, whose marriage to Walter has been badly affected by long years of separation; for Rusty, whose miscarriage has been mind-shattering; for Mathilda, whose single motherhood has put her eligibility in jeopardy, and for Meggie, still not recovered from her alter ego as a secret agent. No matter what the age or circumstances of the person, Waldo Astley is not just a breath of fresh air - but the wind off the sea.
Heart warming and full of period charm.
A fitting sequel to The Chestnut Tree.
Charlotte Bingham writes with her usual flair...