World War One, and as shells fall in Flanders, a Canadian nurse searches for her brother believed dead in the trenches despite eerie signs that suggest otherwise in this gripping and powerful historical novel from the bestselling author of The Bear and the Nightingale. January 1918.
Laura Iven has been discharged from her duties as a nurse and sent back to Halifax, Canada, leaving behind a brother still fighting in the trenches of the First World War. Now home, she receives word of Freddie’s death in action along with his uniform -but something doesn’t quite make sense. Determined to find out more, Laura returns to Belgium as a volunteer at a private hospital.
Soon after arriving, she hears whispers about ghosts moving among those still living and a strange inn-keeper whose wine gives soldiers the gift of oblivion. Could this have happened to Freddie – but if so, where is he?November 1917. Freddie Iven awakens after an explosion to find himself trapped under an overturned pillbox with an enemy soldier, a German, each of them badly wounded.
Against all odds, the two men form a bond and succeed in clawing their way out. But once in No Man’s Land, where can either of them turn where they won’t be shot as enemy soldiers or deserters? As the killing continues, they meet a man – a fiddler – who seems to have the power to make the hellscape that surrounds them disappear. But at what price?