Clarissa is almost seventeen when the spell of her childhood is broken.
It is 1914, the beginning of a blissful, golden summer—and the end of
an era. Deyning Park is in its heyday, the large country house filled
with the laughter and excitement of privileged youth preparing for a
weekend party. When Clarissa meets Tom Cuthbert, home from university
and staying with his mother, the housekeeper, she is dazzled. Tom is
handsome and enigmatic; he is also an outsider. Ambitious, clever, his
sights set on a career in law, Tom is an acute observer, and a man who
knows what he wants. For now, that is Clarissa. As Tom and Clarissa's
friendship deepens, the wider landscape of political life around them is
changing, and another story unfolds: they are not the only people in
love. Soon the world—and all that they know—is rocked by a war that
changes their lives forever.