Mary North and her best friend Hilda saw the coming war as a great adventure. As soon as war was declared, Mary North signed up. She left finishing school in Lausanne and hurried to London, determined not to miss a minute of the war. Her father was an important man and she was quite sure that she would be given a position of responsibility, that she would make a difference, that this war could not be won without her. Much to her chagrin, she was assigned to be a school mistress. Tom Shaw, an educator in charge of school evacuation, decided that the war wasn’t for him. He felt it would make him into a barbarian. He and his flat mate, Alistair, have decided that there are many ways to serve without actually shooting a gun. But Alistair, an art restorer, and just finishing up evacuating the Tate’s art to a safe location, has decided to join up. These quite different people are destined to have their lives entwined by the war, to have their lives changed forever by events beyond their control.
This is a gripping book, full real, often flawed, characters and raw emotions. It doesn’t prettify war, instead shows the dirty, grinding boring side. It shows the horrible injuries. Injuries that are often caused by carelessness or accident, in London and abroad. It is a rather long book, but I read it quickly. I just couldn’t put it down. This will be a best seller. I highly recommend it.
eGalley review Publication date 5.3.16