Days of Grace

Days of Grace is the first novel of Catherine Hall.

Be careful what you say. Like everyone else, you will hear things that the enemy mustn’t know. Keep that knowledge to yourself – and don’t give away any clues. Keep smiling.

On the cusp of World War II, this warning resonates with Britain’s fearful population. But to Nora Lynch, these words carry another layer of meaning, one more intimate and shameful. And for more than fifty years, she will keep her lips tightly sealed.

When the war breaks out, twelve-year-old Nora is one of thousands of London children evacuated to the safety of the English countryside. Her surrogate family, Reverend Rivers, his wife, and their daughter, Grace, offer Nora affection and a wealth of comforts previously unknown to her. But what Nora is too young and too naïve to understand is that the place she’s been sent to isn’t the Eden, she originally believes it to be.

As the dogfights rage ever more fiercely overhead, Nora’s friendship with Grace intensifies, but Nora aches to become even closer. What happens next is a secret that she will harbor for decades, a secret that Nora begins to reveal only when, elderly and ill, she can no longer bear its haunting, corrosive power.

Exploring the perils of both revealing and concealing the truth, Days of Grace is a beautiful meditation on love, friendship and family, and a stunning debut that brings a tumultuous era to life.

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