Caroline Cameron is charming and witty, no doubt-- but also superficial, and a bit immoral. When we first meet her, at the beginning of this novel of the early days of World War II, married Caroline is contemplating an affair with an actor. But then war intervenes, and Caroline and her young daughter evacuate to the quiet village of Chesterford to stay with school-friend Constance Smith. The two women couldn't be more different. Warm-hearted, generous Constance surprises the local billeting officer with her delight at welcoming evacuees into her home. But she has also made a catastrophic marriage to salesman Alfred. As they weather the storm of blackouts, shelters, and village drama, it's ultimately the women's differences that allow them to bring out the best in each other and let peace (of a sort) reign again.