3.53 (88 ratings by Goodreads)
  • Paperback
By (author) 

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Two friends, Walter Dunmore and Al Clark, are the only members of their bomber crew to survive an airforce plane crash in World War II Canada. But they must struggle with the sub-zero wilderness of Newfoundland's Labrador coast until help arrives. Meanwhile, on the homefront, in a small farming community, Walt's wife Dottie struggles with her own battles: loneliness, anxiety and her attraction to an itinerant farm worker. Only one man comes home alive from Labrador, but the lives of their two families remain forever entwined. Years later, in Chicago where they've all moved, questions of loyalty and bravery ensnare their children. And as they confront the horrors of Vietnam one of them will be left to choose between revenge or sacrifice. The novel follows the characters into old age, when decades-old secrets are laid bare to redeem the present and illuminate the past. Rebecca Johns explores with remarkable grace and intimacy themes of love and infidelity, bravery and cowardice, domesticity and more

Product details

  • Paperback | 304 pages
  • 152 x 230 x 30mm | 421.85g
  • Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
  • London, United Kingdom
  • 0747578001
  • 9780747578000
  • 2,173,189

About Rebecca Johns

Rebecca Johns was born in Illinois in 1971. She has worked for publications such as LIFE and Woman's Day, and her articles have appeared in Cosmopolitan, Mademoiselle, Self and Seventeen. She is a recent graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop. She was awarded the Michener-Copernicus Award for this, her first more

Review quote

'Superb and immediately compelling ... Johns has a terrific eye for detail, and a strong emotional intelligence' Kate Saunders, The Times 'Exceptionally assure ... With great subtlety, Johns shows how traits run through families, how gestures and even fates can resurface in later generations. Despite its sombre themes, the novel's end, in 1999, is life-affirming' Daily Telegraph 'Johns' moving debut is at first a gripping account of their quest for survival intertwined with the stories of their young wives at home but broadens to a multigenerational epic ... stark, lovely prose' Publishers Weekly 'Her meticulous presentation of details will make readers feel they are actually witnessing the events ... This work has the appeal of a bestseller' Library Journalshow more

Rating details

88 ratings
3.53 out of 5 stars
5 17% (15)
4 34% (30)
3 36% (32)
2 10% (9)
1 2% (2)
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