It is with some relief that the balance of power swings and you sense that it would have been a difficult book to have tried to have got a mass audience for had Roach lost out in her battle. She almost does though as the dual enemies of Vicki the german lodger and Mr Twaites the old bully team up together to make her life uncomfortable.
Vicki even seems to steal her man the lieutenant who Roach has briefly dreamed of escaping with. But as she gets harder things start to go her way. This is when Hamilton is at his best because having had characters like Mr Prest on the fringes he chooses now to bring them in for a brief cameo with important results.
The book ends with hamilton voicing the view that all those caught up in the war deserved to be pitied. Roach has survived the assualt on mediocrity and finds that back in London she sees with fresh eyes and can breathe again. A feeling that many of us can only dream of.
A review will follow soon…