It's out of print now. It probably was then. But my library had a copy, and after checking it out two or three times over the next few years, I decided I needed my own copy. My copy even made the initial cut and traveled 2,000 miles with me when I moved. Not many books did. WorldCat tells me that 888 libraries have copies. Not bad. Does yours?
Now that I've waxed poetic for an eon, perhaps I should tell you about the story? Although I warn you it's sweeping, epic, tragic and romantic.
Three girls. Their lives intertwined, but not willingly so. Virginia is an heiress without anything to inherit. Beattie, daughter of the gardener and accepted on scholarship to Virginia's mother's alma mater. And Lucy, the daughter of a writer and living in the house Virginia's family can't afford not to let out. Virginia is spiteful and angry; Beattie, innocent and earnest and Lucy, caught in the middle. But soon class and society will matter little as England enters the war and no one's future works out as they had planned.
Soon we are plunged with our heroines into a foreign and dangerous world with the London Blitz, a farm, a boarding school, dashing RAF pilots, the burgeoning film industry and each girl doing what she can to aid the war effort. Even if it means getting VERY creative with your wardrobe as everything becomes rationed, or trying to recover from the heartbreak of your life.
Ok. It's probably a little melodramatic. But in a good way, I promise. What separates it from your average melodrama is that while each girl definitely starts out as a stereotype, by the end of the novel all three have grown and truly transformed into strong women. You watch them love and lose, triumph and suffer through 6 long years of war. They make different, sometimes surprising choices that don't always work out well. Not everyone ends up better for the years.
Anyway, the book has stayed with me through the years, and that's all. I just wanted to share.
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