It is rather awful, Emma thought as she walked across the fields down to the farm, how this business is leading us all into subterfuge and deception, and we can't really tell who is friend and who is enemy . . . '
Emma wakes up one morning to an apocalyptic world. The cosy existence she shares with her grandmother, a famous retired actress, has been shattered: there's no post, no telephone, no radio - and an American warship sits in the harbour.
As the two women piece together clues about the 'friendly' military occupation on their doorstep, family, friends and neighbours gather round to protect their heritage. In this chilling novel of the future, Daphne du Maurier explores the implications of a political, economic and military alliance between Britain and the United States.
About the Author
Daphne du Maurier (1907-89) was born in London, the daughter of the famous actor-manager Sir Gerald du Maurier and granddaughter of George du Maurier, the author and artist. In 1931 her first novel, The Loving Spirit, was published. A biography of her father and three other novels followed, but it was the novel Rebecca that launched her into the literary stratosphere and made her one of the most popular authors of her day. In 1932, du Maurier married Major Frederick Browning, with whom she had three children.
Many of du Maurier's bestselling novels and short stories were adapted into award-winning films, including Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds and Nicolas Roeg's Don't Look Now. In 1969 du Maurier was awarded a DBE. She lived most of her life in Cornwall, the setting for many of her books.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I¿ve found in my experience that you can never go completely wrong with any of Daphne du Maurier¿s novels¿even this one, which isn¿t exactly up my alley. I¿m used to her books being historical fiction, suspense, or nonfiction, so I didn¿t know how I would like this somewhat-futuristic one.The novel is set on the eve of an ominous US/UK ¿alliance¿ in which American marine personnel are stationed in and around a small Cornish town. Emma is a young woman who lives with her grandmother, a famous actress who has a habit of adopting stray children. This is the story of Emma and her family, and how a Cornish town rebels against the US/UK alliance.This book is similar to some of her other books and stories; in particular, the atmosphere of this novel reminds me a lot of the short story ¿The Birds.¿ Although the American marines aren¿t outwardly dangerous at first, there¿s a menacing air to them that becomes downright creepy over time. The book is described as being futuristic, but it¿s hard to know exactly when this book is supposed to take place. It¿s also been described as political commentary, but du Maurier¿s message isn¿t exactly clear¿she¿s a lot better at creating atmosphere as opposed to making political commentary.As far as the characters go, mad is of course head and shoulders above the rest; I love that she¿s both eccentric and humorous, especially in the way she dresses. I¿m not sure, though, why du Maurier kept emphasizing people¿s ages; we must hear over and over again that Mad is 79. Maybe it was foreshadowing to prepare the reader for the end of the book, but I thought that part of the story was clumsily done. Although this book is a page-turner, I don¿t think that it¿s one of du Maurier¿s best, unfortunately.
I enjoyed this book so much I sped through it in 2 days!