In this touching novel, the orphaned Hugo is brought up in a house he loves but that will never be his, by a step-mother he loves but who leaves him when she dies young. The theme of the book is loss.
The story concerns Hugo Mayne and his progress through childhood into adolescence and manhood. The convincingly-depicted world of a between-the-wars country house is the background for his development and, with it, his increasing problems: his relations with his step-parents; his love for his home, Charnfield; his sexuality in a conventional world. All these come to a head at the end of the Second World War, when change of many kinds is in the air.
‘Alfred Shaughnessy has created a lovable character in Hugo Mayne, a lonely, sensitive boy. – A gentle story, told with deep, perceptive wisdom; a most enjoyable book.’ The Gazette.
‘Shaughnessy eloquently describes the pain of sibling rivalry and the apparent unfairness of adult behaviour which so enrages young people. No reader could fail to be moved.’ Newbury Times.
‘This sad but satisfying story has the ring of authenticity.’ Jessica Mann.