Rose Hamilton is boarding the train to meet her Uncle and her brother for tea. Rose is at odds with her life at the moment. World War II has everyone on edge. She is still healing from being dismissed from military service and is engaged/not engaged to a truly narcissistic man. When she happens to see in the paper an advertisement for a companion to a young child. The job would be accompanying the child to Australia where his family will meet him and give him a good home.
On a whim, she stops in to apply for the job. She meets Vivian who is in very poor health and needs to be sure someone she can trust will care for a five-year-old Walter. A shy little boy whose mother has died and whose father is unknown. Walter tugs at her heartstrings hard. And she immediately knows she will take the job.
Walter and Rose board a ship during a scary time. With ships being bombed and enemy ships around, not to mention the seasickness.
Being on the ship in such close quarters Rose has become quite fond of Walter and him of her. When they finally land no one is there to meet them. When a hand shows up he deposits them in the pouring rain at a house with no one home. Or is there? What is wrong with these people? And why is his Uncle Max so distant and not in the least expecting them?
Secrets and family. Can one child and one rather headstrong woman change them all? Or will more misunderstandings cause her a broken heart?
Jenny Ashcroft writes so well you feel fully immersed in whatever world she has created. The colors of the Australian sky, the smells of the ocean liner, the heat so hot you can feel it.
A beautiful historical fiction novel that will move you to tears!
NetGalley/March 15th, 2022 St. Martin’s Press