Twistleton is a village untouched by time, taking its rhythms from the countryside around. Daisy, Jean, Freddie and their friends Aurelia and Laura are devoted to the place, so that when war breaks out Twistleton becomes the embodiment of everything for which they are fighting. For the previous generation the new conflict causes private despair, increased when Twistleton is requisitioned by the Army. Turfed out of their houses, the villagers take refuge at the Hall.
Daisy lives at Twistleton Hall, along with her unmarried Aunt Augusta, and the spirits of her four dead uncles from World War One. Her life therefore has been overshadowed by the Great War, as has those of her friends Freddie and Lorna who live nearby. Daisy, always looking to escape the gloom of the Hall, has known them since the three girls were all sent for a smattering of education to the Court, where Freddie’s Aunt Jessie purported to run a small private school. Now it is 1938, invasion is expected,