The war has had a devastating effect on the Sweet family with young Charlie Sweet, lost at sea, presumed dead and bombs falling on nearby Bristol. Still there is a glimmer of hope on the horizon in the form of Mary Sweet's upcoming wedding to her Canadian beau. But even that has failed to rouse their father from his grief. But in London a baby has been found in a bombed out house, sheltered in the arms of his dead mother. A child to make life worth living again....
The Sweet family have run the local bakery for as long as anyone can remember. Twins Ruby and Mary Sweet help their widowed father out when they can. Mary loves baking and has no intention of leaving their small Gloucestershire village while Ruby dreams of life in London. But as war threatens, there will be changes for all of the Sweet family, with brother Charlie off to serve and cousin Frances facing evacuation. But there will be opportunities, too, as the twins' baking talent catches the attention of the Ministry of Food.
Will they meet again? Frances Sweet can't really remember her real parents. She was brought up by her uncle, and her cousins, Ruby and Mary, have always treated her like their little sister. As the war continues to keep her cousins separated from the men they love, Frances is growing up fast enough to catch the eye of dashing American soldier Declan. But she also has a greater longing - to find the mother who abandoned her years before....
Will her soldier sweetheart make it home for Christmas? Lydia is in training to be a nurse when she first meets Robert, and, despite the differences in their classes and backgrounds, they fall head over heels for one another. Robert is the nephew of a Lord, and Lydia is a mere doctor’s daughter - and a German doctor at that. While her parentage is no hindrance to their relationship in peacetime, when war is declared Robert’s family makes it clear they no longer approve of the match.
Can her family ever be reunited? Magda Brodie’s world is torn apart when her mother dies in the workhouse two weeks before Christmas. Her wastrel father arranges for her sisters to be sent to their grandparents, her brother to be adopted, and Magda to live with her Aunt Bridget. But her aunt holds a bitter resentment towards her, and Magda’s dreams of reuniting her family seem hopeless...
"Ay-Yi-Yi-Yi", by Ben McGrath; "A Rooting Interest", by Jonathan Franzen; "The Plagiarist’s Tale", by Lizzie Widdicombe; "Fright Nights", by Anthony Lane; "It’s Good Enough for Me", by Emily Nussbaum; and "Powers of Evil", by David Denby.
"The Spat", by Hendrik Hertzberg; "Five on Five", by Lauren Collins; "How 'Bout Them Economy", by Nick Paumgarten; "Black Hole", by Lizzie Widdicombe; "A Strike in the Dark", by Seymour M. Hersh; "Thinking in the Rain", by Susan Orlean; "Living Pains", by Sasha Frere-Jones; and "Strangers", by Anthony Lane.
There are nine articles in the first part of this double issue: "Testing the Climate", by Elizabeth Kolbert; "Who's Scrooge?", by Lizzie Widdicombe; "A Buyer's Christmas", by James Surowiecki; "The Frog at Forty-Five", by Mimi Sheraton; "Life on Mars", by David Remnick; "Demolition Man", by John Lahr; "Stairway to Here", by Sasha Frere-Jones; "Family Planning", by Hilton Als; and "Settling Scores", by Anthony Lane.
There are nine articles in this edition: "Brouhahaha", by Hendrik Hertzberg; "First Book", by Ben McGrath; "Monster Career", by Mark Singer; "Idle Hands", by Lizzie Widdicombe; "The Stressbuster" by Larissa MacFarquhar; "Silent Minds" by Jerome Groopman; "Sin Dolor", by T. Coraghessan Boyle; "Upstate", by Louis Menand; and "Leaving It All Behind", by Anthony Lane.
This issue contains seven articles: "Ask the Iraqis", by Lawrence Wright; "Having One for Che", by Lizzie Widdicombe; "The Well-Tempered Web", by Alex Ross; "Fallen Idols", by David Denby; "Sparky from St. Paul", by John Updike; "A Paler Shade of White", by Sasha Frere-Jones; and "Nocturnes", by Anthony Lane.