Nov 2011 – charity shop

Her first novel, I believe, but so self-assured and polished. Julia, slightly unsatisfactory RAF wife, joins her husband, Roddy, and his cousin, Eleanor, stationed in Mrs Lippincote's requisitioned house with their delightfully drawn, bookish son, Oliver. Julia behaves a little eccentrically, but is encouraged by the wonderful Wing Commander, forever sending round goodies via junior officers and calmly knitting at parties. Eleanor falls in with some Marxists, whose group is just as institutionalised in its way as the RAF, and momentous changes eventually throw our small canvas into confusion. Masterful, witty, domestic and intimate and fascinating: hugely readable.

I do admit to feeling slightly trapped in the 1930s-40s as I read these, and also Debs at War, in the first week of the New Year!