Romney Marsh, July 1940. When invasion threatens, you have to grow up quickly. Sixteen-year-old Peggy has been putting on a brave face since the fall of France, but now the enemy is overhead, and the rules are changing all the time. Staying on the right side of the law proves harder than she expects when a plane crash-lands in the Marsh: it's Peggy who finds its pathetic, broken pilot; a young Polish man, Henryk, who stays hidden in a remote church, secretly cared for by Peggy. As something more blossoms between the two, Peggy's brother Ernest's curiosity peaks and other secrets come to light, forcing Peggy and Henryk to question all the loyalties and beliefs they thought they held dear. In one extraordinary summer the lives of two young people will change forever, in a tense and gripping historical drama from Lydia Syson, the author of the acclaimed A World Between Us.
REVIEWS: 'an outstanding debut novel for teenagers' THE GUARDIAN; 'Syson brings history to life' THE OBSERVER; 'a fantastic historical fiction debut' THE BOOKSELLER; 'a compelling story of politics and passion, bravery and love' BOOKTRUST
Read regular blogs at www.lydiasyson.com and find a wealth of background information about A WORLD BETWEEN US (Branford Boase Highly Commended, Guardian Children's Fiction Prize longlisted), THAT BURNING SUMMER and other work.
Lydia Syson is a fifth-generation North Londoner who now lives south of the river. Writing a novel was an early ambition, but it took a while to produce the Carnegie-nominated A WORLD BETWEEN US. In the meantime, she went from being a World Service radio listener in Botswana to a producer in London, leaving the BBC after her first child was born. Three more children later she wrote a biography of Britain's first fertility guru, DOCTOR OF LOVE: JAMES GRAHAM AND HIS CELESTIAL BED, telling the full story of the charismatic eighteenth-century 'electric' doctor. Getting to Timbuktu is still on the 'to do' list - explorers, poets and Timbuktu fever were the subject of the PhD she finished in 2003 - but the current humanitarian and political crisis in Mali makes that unlikely for some time. Recent travels have been closer to home: her latest YA novel for Hot Key Books, THAT BURNING SUMMER, is set mainly on Romney Marsh.