This is a story of one family in France after the war, but it is also a story of universal significance. The young Englishman, Adam Hartley, goes back to visit the scene of a war-time friendship with the local Resistance leader. On his way a conversation overheard in an inn arouses him to a shocked realisation that peace has not brought, and cannot bring, the peace of forgetfulness to France. Enmities, bitterness, and vengeance are the aftermath of the Occupation.
“Is it better to cover things up, to stifle suspicion, to rebuild life on foundations which may be rotten? Or is it better to establish the truth, whatever the consequences, to inflict just retribution on those who have done evil, and to avenge the dead? This is the profound problem which Miss Storm Jameson explores through the personalities of this group of fully realised characters. The story, exciting in itself, is told with swift economy. It is very carefully wrought; the best constructed, I think, of all the author’s work.”
Veronica Wedgwood in the Broadsheet