The New York Times bestselling author of the Maisie Dobbs series turns her prodigious talents to a World War I standalone tale of romance and intrigue—to be published in time for the Great War’s centennial.
Tom and Kezia Atterbury, married in June of 1914, are still newlyweds when war is declared in August. Tom enlists for service, among the thousands of men drawn to serve their country against the Hun. Kezia is left at home, to look after the farm Tom inherited upon the death of his parents.
Among the many gifts received by Kezia on the day of her wedding, are two books for the new housewife—Mrs. Beeton’s cookery book and a treatise on household management. For Tom, upon enlistment he receives small handbooks bearing the essence of military training, from how to clean a rifle, to the haltering of cavalry horses and the preparation of latrines. But nothing prepares either Kezia or Tom for what they are about to face in the months and years ahead.
This extraordinary novel traces not only the experiences of Tom and his new wife as they begin their marriage full of hope, love and blind optimism, but their lives apart. As Tom marches into battles unfolding like the most terrible nightmares, so Kezia’s life begins to unravel, yet each wishes nothing more than to keep the truth from the other. The reality of their experiences are hidden in cheery letters and cards. In her loneliness, Kezia begins to cook as if for two, trying out recipes from her new book, and describing each meal to Tom, who responds in kind, as if he had just partaken of the meal. She describes her life as if she were the mistress of a smooth-running household, taking note of the lessons in her book of household management, and again, Tom writes back as if he were the husband returning to a model home after a day at the market. Their dream world is shaken by the new reality of their everyday lives, and each find their beliefs about the war called into question — Kezia when a kindly German prisoner of war is assigned to the farm as a worker, and Tom when he captures a German soldier.
*This is a 3 book limit event. With the purchase of the new book you can bring 3 books from your own collection to be signed as well.