Seventeen-year-old Juno Marlowe has just waved off to war the two young men she has loved for the best part of her life when the air raid sirens begin to wail out across London. She is rescued from this nightmare by a gaunt stranger called Evelyn, frail and older than his years, who offers her the protection of his house and his family before dying suddenly in the night.
Determined to avoid being sent to Canada to join her mother and new step-father, and still grieving for her lost lovers, Juno instead finds herself on a train to Cornwall in search of Evelyn's family. There she discovers the blossoming of an English spring into which the war only occasionally intrudes and finds at last a peace for herlself and a world in which she is more than simply part of the furniture.
A novel whose freshness of tone, energy of plotting and sweet nature make it exceptional by any standards
Few novelists offer such a rich concoction of amoral spice and cleverness; but to judge her work exclusively on this level is to miss more subtle rewards
With its brilliant final twist, this is Mary Wesley's best yet