This is a book about World War Two, but it is different from most of the books about that time I have read.
A lot of the story is set in America in 1941 before the US entered the war. Yet, some Americans were in England and Continental Europe, already part of a war that most of America saw as having nothing to do with them.
This is the story of three women.
Emma Fitch has recently married Will, a doctor in Franklin on Cape Cod and for the first time in a long time Emma feels like she belongs somewhere, with someone. For the first time in a long time she feels safe. Then, after a tragedy occurs, Will decides to go to England to offer his medical services there and Emma once again finds herself left behind and on her own.
Iris James is the postmistress in Franklin and prides herself on running a faultless postal service, making sure that the messages people send each other safely make it to where they should be.
Frankie Bard is already in London where she's a radio reporter, bringing the ordeal of the Blitz to the listeners in America. Trying to tell the truth and make them see and care about what is happening in Europe but never convinced that she is succeeding.
Then one day, after a very bad night in London the lives of the three women collide, although none of them is aware of it. And before the summer of 1941 has come to an end, all three women will have dealt with tragedy and two of them will have done something that is completely against everything they stand for and believe in.
Yes, this is a story about the war. But it is also a story about loneliness, about being isolated in a world filled with people. It's a story about the choices we make and what constitutes right and wrong. A story about how sometimes the wrong thing can be the only right thing to do.
This is a very good story with several layers. I didn't find it an easy book to read though. A lot of what was happening, of what was being said and more importantly what was not being said made me feel very uncomfortable. The feeling the book left me with is one of sadness about lives so very close, yet never really able to touch each other. This is a story I will be thinking about a lot in days to come.