'A very nearly perfect novel of broad, regretful vision, and magical intimacy' Sunday Telegraph
Helen has retreated to the remote north-west coast of Ireland to paint the sea and the shore, and to be alone with her past.
English war hero Roger Hawthorne has settled in the neglected railway station house nearby. Mutilated and sick at heart, with the help of a young lad he has begun painstakingly to restore the derelict branch line station. Soon Roger and Helen form a bond which, over gramophone music, dancing and champagne, deepens into love. But Helen, enjoying her first taste of happiness in years, is to learn just how brutally fleeting it can be.
Jennifer Johnston is one of the foremost Irish writers of her, or any, generation. She has won the Whitbread Prize (THE OLD JEST), the Evening Standard Best First Novel Award (for THE CAPTAINS AND THE KINGS), the Yorkshire Post Award, Best Book of the Year (twice, for THE CAPTAINS AND THE KINGS and HOW MANY MILES TO BABYLON?). She was also shortlisted for the Booker Prize with SHADOWS ON OUR SKIN.