'Ian McEwan did this with Atonement, Sarah Waters did it with The Night Watch, and Chris Cleave does it too with Everyone Brave is Forgiven...A compelling and finely crafted novel.' FT'An addictive, propulsive read' The Sunday TimesSummer Reading pick - Paula Hawkins, author of The Girl on the TrainTop Ten hottest summer reads - Sunday Telegraph Instant New York Times BestsellerEvening Standard bestseller'A cracker' Stylist, 10 Exciting Books in 2016'His best book to date' Esquire, 10 best novels of 2016 Guardian Literary Highlight of 2016Independent Best Book to read in 2016 Irish News Top Picks for 2016Washington Post 20 Books We Can't Wait to Read in 2016An extraordinary tale of love and honour in extreme circumstances, from the multi-award-winning author of THE OTHER HAND.When war is declared, Mary North leaves finishing school unfinished, goes straight to the War Office, and signs up.Tom Shaw decides to give it a miss - until his flatmate Alistair unexpectedly enlists, and the conflict can no longer be avoided.Young, bright and brave, Mary is certain she'd be a marvelous spy.
When she is - bewilderingly - made a teacher, she instead finds herself defying prejudice to protect the children her country would rather forget. Tom, meanwhile, finds that he will do anything for Mary. And when Mary and Alistair meet, it is love, as well as war, that will test them in ways they could not have imagined, entangling three lives in violence and passion, friendship and deception, inexorably shaping their hopes and dreams.In a powerful combination of both humour and heartbreak, this dazzling novel weaves little-known history, and a perfect love story, through the vast sweep of the Second World War - daring us to understand that, against the great theatre of world events, it is the intimate losses, the small battles, the daily human triumphs, that change us most.