A STORY OF SABOTAGE, BETRAYAL AND THE TERRIBLE SADNESS OF EXILE.
'A magnificent novel'The Times.
Scotland, 1940: The Fronsac, a French warship, blows up in the Firth of Clyde. The disaster is witnessed by three locals. Jackie, a young girl who thinks she caused the explosiong by running away from school. Her mother Helen, a spirited woman married to a dreary young officer; and their lodger, a Polish soldier whose country has just been erased from the map by Hitler and Stalin.
All their lives will be changed by the death of the Fronsac.
Neal Ascherson is a journalist and writer. He reported from Asia, Africa and Central Europe for the Observer. He contributes regularly to the New York Review and the LRB. His books include Black Sea, Games with Shadows and The Polish August.
'A wayward story told with admirable vigour and intensity' The National.
'A story that conjures up memorable characters and describes vividly the wartime atmosphere ... an engrossing book' Greenock Telegraph.
'Ambitious and affecting' Sunday Herald.
'[Neal Ascherson's] gripping second world war novel [is a] thoughtful portrait of the wartime experience' Spectator.
'[A] humane and compassionate novel ... As wise as it is rich. It is an absorbing, complex and humane piece of fiction about terrible times and how good and bad people make the best they can of them' The Bottle Imp.
'It brings history to life for sure but stands as a remarkable first novel. I hope Ascherson has more novels to write' Tribune.
'A gripping fictional account' Country Life.
'A wholehearted emotional book ... It makes you understand fuel tanks and dirty wrecked water - and also unexpected elderly love' The Tablet, Books of the Year.
'[T]his debut novel remains long in the mind ... A marvellous meditation on what it is to have lost a country and a past, and to be adrift in search of what might once again constitute a home' TLS.