A Brief Affair by Margaret Leroy published by Sphere. Already getting rave reviews.
September 1940. England is a war once again and London has become an ever-fragile place for widowed Livia Ripley and her two young daughters, Polly and Eliza. When Livia meets charismatic publisher Hugo Ballantyne, she is hopeful that her life is about to change for the better. But as clouds gather in the clear autumn sky, the wail of the siren heralds the arrival of the Luftwaffe.
As the raids intensify, Livia volunteers to be a warden at the invitation of enigmatic Justin Connelly. Here she experiences the true reality and despair of war, a contrast to the world of comfort and cocktails provided in fleeting afternoons at the Balfour Hotel with Hugo. And ultimately, Livia discovers a strength she never knew she had that will give her the power to save those she loves. For when you don't know what tomorrow may bring, there is no choice but to live for today.
'I loved everything about this wonderful, shocking, heartbreaking book: the brilliantly drawn characters, the heartrending story, and the utterly gorgeous writing. I was spellbound from start to finish. No other novel has brought home the horror and the pathos of life in London during the Blitz and the lives that somehow bravely had to go on. The detail is extraordinary and I really felt that I was there, living through the challenges alongside Livia.
A Brief Affair is an absolute must read, a real triumph and convincing on every level.' (Dinah Jeffries)