The book is a bit of a misnomer because it starts with the summer before the war, but keeps going from there. I remember from Helen Simonson's earlier novel that things don't stay sunny in her books, so the high body count near the end wasn't too much of a shock.
- It's too exhausting always throwing myself across the chasm of understanding (with the only German speaking governess.)
- I said we would be informal, I didn't say we'd be eccentric.
- Spirited debate is the first casualty of any war.
- "Tongue was all (the butcher) had yesterday." said cook. 'So many I had a sudden vision of a whole field of silent cows. Quite a nasty turn it gave me."
- This is such outrageous untruth that Beatrice was forced to pause and to admire Mrs Thurber as she might admire an artist's brushstroke while despising the picture.
- So they stood, as the light drained from the sky behind the town of Rye, and the crescent moon grew brighter in the east, and the ceaseless waves ignored the small rituals of human kind, ran up the shore and withdrew again, under the strange and regular hand of gravity.
- She did not know how he could continue just to take the souls of people he knew, and mix them about on his palette like a rude painter.