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.
|Publication date:||12th March 2015|
|Publisher:||Orion (an Imprint of The Orion Publishing Group Ltd ) an imprint of Orion Publishing Co|
|Primary Genre||Modern and Contemporary Fiction|
Closing date: 11/11/2021
In the early summer of 1914, the De Witt family seem happy as Rudolf and Verena plan their eldest daughter’s wedding, whilst their youngest child, fifteen-year-old Celia whose story frames the novel, is longing to break free of her family’s expectations. She dreams of exploring the world, but when war is declared everybody finds the old conventions radically and swiftly overturned. A family once embraced in the neighbourhood are shunned because of their Germanic heritage, and Celia lies about her age to join the war effort, an action that will bring profound consequences. Vibrant and empathetic, this novel brings fresh insight to familiar territory.
A beautifully conjured family saga. Fans of DOWNTON ABBEY will love it -- Alison Weir
Brilliant - a passionate and poignant story of a glittering family on the precipice of a vanished world. Spellbinding, gripping and beautiful - a must read ... the new CAZALET CHRONICLES -- Lisa Hilton
[An] all-encompassing, sweeping epic. It's a book to get immersed in for hours at a time ... powerful ... a wonderful achievement -- Katherine Webb
Kate Williams studied her BA at Somerville College, Oxford where she was a College Scholar and received the Violet Vaughan Morgan University Scholarship. She then took her MA at Queen Mary, University of London and her DPhil at Oxford. Kate's first book was England's Mistress: the Infamous Life of Emma Hamilton and her second, Becoming Queen was about the passionate youth of Queen Victoria and Princess Charlotte. She was also a consultant on the movie Young Victoria which starred Emily Blunt and Rupert Friend and has appeared on the Today programme and as a guest reviewer on Newsnight Review in ...More About Kate Williams