by Owen Shears
It is 1944. The Eastern Front has collapsed, a rushed landing at Normandy has been repulsed, and Britain is facing invasion. Its government is calling on citizens to stand firm, struggle on, and perhaps to perish in the common ruin. Late one night, all the men from the seven farms that occupy a remote valley on the Welsh border leave their beds and vanish, leaving behind puzzled wives, one daughter, a guerilla manual disguised as an almanac, and far too many farm chores. This sophisticated but disarming tale of the first winter of the Occupation displays exquisite sympathy for each of its many characters.