Lives and loves entwine in Andrea Levy's award-winning story of Jamaicans and Londoners involved in the Second World War.
London 1948: Hortense joins Gilbert, her new husband, in England, where he is lodging with Queenie Bligh. The women have both married in unpromising circumstances as love is a luxury neither can afford. As Hortense remembers her life in Jamaica and the profound love she had for Michael and his betrayal of her, Queenie also remembers her night of passion with the same Michael when her husband was away at war. Initially suspicious of each other, will they uncover the secret they share?