Coventry, 1939. Days before the outbreak of World War II, a terrorist bomb explodes on a busy street, killing and maiming innocent civilians. A man is hanged on the evidence given by a young witness. As time goes on, the witness doubts her recollection of events, but her testimony has already had far-reaching consequences. Over sixty years later, in the wake of the 7/7 London bombings, Sara returns to her childhood home to find that her sister, Polly, missing for more than ten years, has finally come back too.
Restless, troubled Rosamond Hunter has spent most of her life running away from the past, filled with guilt about her involuntary role in her mother's death. When her nursing job brings her back to Fairfleet, her childhood home, to care for an elderly refugee, she is forced to confront the ghosts that have haunted her for so long.
"Unusually Beautiful Story"
February, 1945: Europe is in ruins and the Red Army is searing its way across Germany's eastern marches, revenging itself upon a petrified population. The war is over, but for some the fight for survival is only just beginning. Alix, the aristocratic daughter of a German resistance fighter, is alone and desperate to flee before the Reds come. But when a ferocious snowstorm descends she must return to the shelter of her abandoned ancestral home. There, she is shocked to find her childhood sweetheart Gregor.
Shattered by a recent bereavement, Minna and husband Tom retreat to an isolated village on the Dorset coast, hoping to find the solitude that will allow them to cope with their loss and rebuild their foundering marriage. Walking on the beach one day, they unearth a human skeleton. It is a discovery which will plunge Minna into a mystery which will consume her for months to come. The remains are soon identified as those of Private Lew Campbell, a black American GI who, it seems, drowned during a wartime exercise in the area half a century before.
It's the Queen's Golden Jubilee, and Rachel and her aunt Evie are celebrating with the crowds on the village green. The scene is tranquil, but Rachel and her aunt can never forget what happened exactly 25 years ago. On that day, Evie's young daughter Jessamy vanished. She hasn't been seen since. Soon after, news comes of Evie's sudden death, and Rachel must return to the village to deal with her aunt's estate.
After her soldier husband is seriously injured and her marriage begins to fall apart, Meredith Cordingley returns to teach at Letchford, the grand Cotswold private school run by her father, who outwardly appears to be a typically English headmaster. The setting provides Meredith with a tranquil refuge from her own heartache until one September afternoon, when a shocking discovery is made in the history room. The police are called, but all is not what it seems.