With war threatening to spread from Europe to England,
the sleepy village of Crowmarsh Priors settles into a new sort of normal: evacuees
from London are billeted in local homes. Nightly air raids become grimly
mundane. The tightening vice of rationing curtails every comfort. Men leave to
fight and die. And five women forge an unlikely bond of friendship that will
change their lives forever.
Alice Osbourne, the stolid daughter of the late vicar, is
reeling from the news that Richard Fairfax broke his engagement to marry
Evangeline Fontaine, an American girl from the deep South. Evangeline’s arrival
causes a stir in the village—but not the chaos that would ensue if they knew
her motives for being there. Scrappy Elsie Pigeon is among the poor of London
who see the evacuations as a chance to escape a life of destitution. Another
new arrival is Tanni Zayman, a young Jewish girl who fled the horrors of Europe
and now waits with her newborn son, certain that the rest of her family is safe
and bound to show up any day. And then there’s Frances Falconleigh, a madcap,
fearless debutante whose father is determined to keep her in the countryside
and out of the papers.
As the war and its relentless hardships intensify around
them, the same struggles that threaten to rip apart their lives also bring the
five closer together. They draw strength from one another to defeat formidable
enemies—hunger, falling bombs, the looming threat of a Nazi invasion, and a
traitor in their midst—and find remarkable strength within themselves to help
their friends. Theirs is a war-forged loyalty that will outlast the fiercest
battle and endure years and distance.
When four of the women return to Crowmarsh Priors for a VE Day
celebration fifty years later, television cameras focus on the heartwarming
story of these old women as war brides of a bygone age but miss the more
newsworthy angle. The women’s mission is not to commemorate or remember—they’ve
returned to settle a score and avenge one of their own. Download and start listening now!