International Bestseller: A novel of youthful love and loss and “a powerful evocation of the war years” in England (The Guardian).
On a hot August evening in 1939, cousins Oliver, Calypso, Polly, Walter, and Sophy spent one last night together, celebrating the end of summer, at the home of their aunt and uncle. Now, forty years later, as the motley cast of characters drive to the funeral of one of their own, they recall how important that night truly was—and all that came after.
From Oliver, whose desperation to prove himself in war ended up as his downfall, to Calypso, whose flirtations landed her in an unlikely marriage with even less likely results, to Sophy, whose secrets from that night haunted her for the rest of her life, each of them recalls the twisted paths of love and betrayal they walked as the country came apart around them under the coming shadow of World War II.
Mary Wesley masterfully interweaves tragedy and humor in this “extraordinarily accomplished and fast-moving” novel, presenting a tale of both the world at large and the dalliances, allegiances, and losses of her expertly crafted characters (Financial Times).