The first novel in Kate Williams' groundbreaking new historical series which begins in the First World War. For fans of BIRDSONG and DOWNTON ABBEY.
In the idyllic early summer of 1914, life is good for the de Witt family. German Rudolf and his aristocratic English wife Verena are planning the wedding of their daughter, Emmeline, while their eldest son Arthur is studying in Paris and Michael is just back from his first term at Cambridge. Celia, the youngest of the de Witt children, is on the brink of adulthood, and secretly dreams of escaping her carefully mapped out future and exploring the world.
But with the onslaught of war, the de Witts find themselves in danger of losing everything they hold dear. As Celia struggles to make sense of the changing world around her, she lies about her age to join the war effort and finds herself embroiled in a complex plot that puts her and those she loves in danger.
With gripping detail and brilliant empathy, Kate Williams tells the story of Celia and her family as they are shunned by a society that previously embraced them, torn apart by sorrow, and buffeted and changed by the storms of war.
This terrific saga comes with a fascinating twist ... Williams has a gift for showing how great movements in history affect the lives of people caught up in them - THE TIMES
Williams is too good a historian for melodramatic sentimentality; trusting the historical detail, the reader can relax into a well-paced, truly affecting narrative ... Richly detailed, light of foot, Williams tantalises with loose ends and disturbs with shocking shadows - INDEPENDENT
Celia de Witt is the 15-year-old daughter of a German-born industrialist and his aristocratic wife who live in a magnificent country house; her elder sister is about to have a grand society wedding. What could go wrong? The First World War, that's what ... shades of DOWNTON, with a dash of ATONEMENT - TATLER
A wonderful evocation of a family torn apart by war, packed with drama and written with a sensitive warmth and fantastic historical insight
Kate Williams is an author, social historian and broadcaster. The Storms of War, her first novel in the De Witt trilogy, was widely acclaimed, reviewed as 'spellbinding, gripping and beautiful'. She has always wanted to travel in time and wrote her first novel when she was seven (The Adventures of Maria) - it was rather short.
Kate loves delving into archives, collections, diaries and letters. She has a DPhil from Oxford and is the author of the novel The Pleasures of Men and four historical biographies of Emma Hamilton, Queen Victoria, Elizabeth II and Empress Josephine - which is being made into a major TV series.
She is Professor of Public History at the University of Reading.
Kate is CNN's historian and royal expert, covers royal and national events on the BBC and other channels and regularly appears on other TV programmes, including BBC Breakfast, Restoration Home and The Great British Bake Off, discussing social and royal history, general politics and culture. She also loves quiz shows and is a regular on The Quizeum.
She is the resident historian on Frank Skinner's BBC Radio 4 panel show The Rest is History, and writes features, reviews and comment pieces for various newspapers and magazines, including the Sunday Times, Daily Telegraph, Independent and Observer.
Kate lives in London.
Find out more at www.kate-williams.com and follow her on Twitter @KateWilliamsme