Impeccably researched and emotionally gripping, this is the war story of the year.
1943. The sleepy Suffolk village of Bedenham is jerked into the twentieth century and the harsh realities of war by the arrival on its doorstep of an American bomber base and its three thousand inhabitants.
For Billy Street, fourteen, a London evacuee uneasily billeted with the village blacksmith, the American invasion is heaven sent - unlimited opportunities and acceptance at last within a community he loves. Yet a concealed past threatens his new happiness.
Billy's schoolteacher, Heather Garrett, awaits word of a husband missing for eighteen months. A stranger to Bedenham, Heather's sense of isolation - and village suspicions - are heightened when troubled American pilot John Hooper, reaches for her friendship.
And daily the skies fill with the bombers and their ten-man crews who, during that bleak autumn of 1943, suffered losses on a catastrophic scale. For Hooper, tormented by earlier loss, leading Misbehavin' Martha and her disorderly crew safely through their 25 designated bombing missions becomes a personal crusade.