|Trim Size / Pages||9.3 x 6.6 in / 528|
For fans of Atonement, Birdsong, and Downton Abbey, the first of three novels about a privileged British family enduring the trials of World War I, from New York Times bestselling author Kate Williams.
In the idyllic early summer of 1914, life is good for the de Witt family. Rudolf and Verena are planning the wedding of their daughter Emmeline, while their eldest son, Arthur, is studying in Paris, and Michael is just back from his first term at Cambridge. Celia, the youngest of the de Witt children, is on the brink of adulthood and secretly dreams of escaping her carefully mapped-out future and exploring the world.
But the onslaught of war changes everything and soon the de Witts find themselves sidelined and in danger of losing everything they hold dear. As Celia struggles to make sense of the changing world around her, she lies about her age to join the war effort and finds herself embroiled in a complex plot that puts not only herself but those she loves in danger.
With gripping detail and brilliant empathy, Kate Williams tells the story of Celia and her family as they are shunned by a society that previously embraced them, torn apart by sorrow, and buffeted and changed by the storms of war.
Kate Williams is the author of the New York Times bestseller Becoming Queen Victoria, which was the inspiration for the Academy Award-winning film The Young Victoria, starring Emily Blunt and Rupert Friend as Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. She is also the author of Ambition & Desire, a biography of Josephine Bonaparte. Kate works as CNN's British royalty and historical expert. She lives in England.
“Touching on topics as wide ranging as the horrors of trench warfare, battlefield hospitals, women-volunteer ambulance drivers, women’s suffrage, and blatant discrimination, this detailed, descriptive novel brings an era to life. As atmospheric as Anne Perry’s WWI books and as spellbinding as Ken Follett’s Fall of Giants.” Booklist (starred)
“Quietly impressive. It echoes of classic novels (Atonement, Brideshead Revisited). Hard to put down. A new perspective on an old war. Gripping, thoughtful, heartbreaking, and, above all, human.” Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“Shades of Downton, with a dash of Atonement.” Tatler
“The new novel by the historian Kate Williams, is an epic story about a young woman whose idyllic world is shattered by the First World War.” The Sunday Telegraph
“A big juicy drama set on the eve of the First World War. Kate Williams paints a spellbinding portrait of a family clinging on desperately to their privileged way of life.” Good Housekeeping UK
“Kate Williams in a vivid writer, conjuring atmosphere through scents and tastes as well as period props.” The Times Literary Supplement
“Williams keeps her story moving and the result is a vivid portrait of a perennially fascinating period of history.” The Observer
“This terrific saga comes with a fascinating twist. Williams has a gift for showing how great movements in history affect the lives of people caught up in them.” The Times (London)
“A beautifully conjured family saga. Fans of Downton Abbey will love it. ” Alison Weir, #1 New York Times bestselling author