Set in London during the Blitz, the novel tells the story of Mrs. Braithewaite, a bossy, imperious woman who’s ousted from her role as leader of her village’s women’s auxiliary group. She heads to London to reveal a long-held secret to her daughter, only to get caught up in some dangerous business involving the MI5 (English Military Intelligence), Nazi-loving traitors, and dangerous thugs.
She also meets the timid Mr. Norris who, against his will, is swept up in her escapades. The gradual affection between these complete opposites, who don’t learn each other’s first names until the final chapters of the book, is one of its many joys.
In addition to a suspenseful, twisting and turning plot, Ryan’s book has some wisdom about maternal love, friendship, and discovering what’s truly important. Sometimes it borders on schmaltzy but it’s the kind of schmaltz I adore.
The audiobook is read by the perfectly named Jane Entwistle whose plummy tones are spot on. Give yourself a treat and listen to this delicious book. It’s great fun and god knows we can use some more of that.