Novel set in pre-war London and Guernsey
The newcomer introduces herself as “Emilie” – not her real name. That we don’t learn until the closing pages of this novel: indeed, there’s much about her we don’t know. We know only that she is newly arrived from Amsterdam, which she left under a cloud (she lost her university job after having an affair with a student): that she has a husband back home: and that there’s something wrong. Something serious, but – for the moment – not specified.
Here she is now, in an old farmhouse in Wales, which she’s renting for the winter, and where she hopes simply to disappear. “Emilie” is out of her element, a Dutch city girl (though everyone assumes she’s German) landing near the foot of Snowdon. She feels empty, and homesick. But it isn’t quite homesickness, but nostalgia – what she misses is not another place, but another time.
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