Summer, 1939. The de Lacey family of Nayton Manor believe they are ready for the changes the war will bring. Elizabeth, the eldest daughter, is due to return home from her grandparents’ farm in France and is expected to marry the dashing Captain Max Coburn. But when Grandpère suffers a stroke while driving Elizabeth to the station, her future is changed. Instead of returning home to Norfolk, Elizabeth chooses to stay and help her grandparents. Max is also stationed in France – but will this help their courtship, or will the war threaten to separate them for ever?
Meanwhile, in the village of Nayton, Lucy Storey dutifully cares for her father the stationmaster, running their home in the little cottage by the railway. Her long hard days are brightened by meetings with the handsome Jack de Lacey, who brings a brief escape from her daily routine. As their friendship grows, can they overcome the class prejudices set in their way, or will the jealous signalman Frank Lambert succeed in destroying their romance? For all at Nayton, war becomes a time of risk and danger, of secrets and betrayal, and of finding love in the most unexpected places.
This was such a lovely story, I found myself falling so in love with all the characters.
This isn’t my normal type of read and it’s the first war novel I’ve read that’s set in England/France, the ones I have read have been about Jewish sufferers or people living in Nazi Germany, so this taught me things I didn’t know before and I definitely want to read some more written from this point of view.
Nichols’s writing was charming and the story was well paced. I feel I must say that I nearly had a break down during the bus journey when Lucy’s house was bombed and Justine was arrested. I was really pleased when Jack FINALLY admitted he loved Lucy and I wish there’d been more details about their wedding day. I was constantly worried that Lisabette and co were going to be caught and I must admit I was waiting for something awful to happen to them all.
I liked the way the story was set over two countries and how all the characters were linked up – I love the story of Annaliese and Charles… Would love to read it!
The story ended happily and I’m sad there’s no more to this family’s story. I wouldn’t say no to another of Nichol’s books, I definitely enjoyed this book