A gloriously evocative and touching read, capable of chattering with energy one minute and settling into an expressive silence the next. It feels as though the author has a cherished connection to the memories of 11 year old Anthony during the Second World War; she skillfully captures his playfulness, excitement, bewilderment and fear. The Welsh mining village and surrounding hills where Anthony lives is brought vibrantly to life, full to the brim with gossip, bustle and affection. The villager’s war is fought on the home front; from the inadequately provisioned home guard, to the men down the mine and most intimately of all, in the mind of one small boy. Through the smiles, laughter, sorrow and tears this novel leaves a satisfying feeling of warmth, and is quite simply a joy to read.
One of our Books of the Year 2015.