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“Immersive, nuanced, impeccably researched” IAN RANKIN

“Beautifully written and moving” ALLAN MASSIE

“Poignant, nostalgic and redolent of the smell of France” SIMON BRETT

Family history has always been a mystery to Will Latymer. His father flatly refused to talk about it, and with no other relatives to consult, it seems that a mystery it shall always remain. Until of course, Will meets Ghislaine, his beautiful French cousin, in a chance encounter that introduces him to his grandmother, Madeleine, shut away in a quiet Breton manor with her memories and secrets.

Before long, Will has been plunged headlong into the life of Madeleine’s great love, his longlost grandfather, Henry Latymer. Reading Henry’s old letters and diaries for the first time, Will discovers an idealistic young man, full of hopes and optimism – an optimism that will gradually be crushed as the realities of life under the Vichy regime become glaringly clear.

But the more Will delves into Madeleine and Henry’s past, and into France’s troubled history, the darker the secrets he discovers become, and the more he has cause to wonder if sometimes, the past should remain buried.


Allan Massie
A beautifully written and moving story of love and betrayal that casts light on the "Dark Years" of French history, 1940-44. It is a novel suffused with a love and appreciation of France and French culture, and a highly intelligent examination of the other country that is the past.
Simon Brett
An elegant and charming novel which provides a memorable insight into the world of Vichy France . . . The modern narrative is cleverly intermixed with the historical story . . . It is poignant, nostalgic and redolent of the smell of France
Ian Rankin
Immersive, nuanced, impeccably researched - a real feeling for time, place and character.