It is April 1941 and German bombers are in the air, about to attack Belfast. Oskar is a Luftwaffe conscript whose sweetheart, Elsa, was forced to flee Berlin for Ireland two years before. War-weary, he longs for escape.
In remote Dunkerin, Kitty awakes to find a parachute trapped in one of the lime trees. When she discovers Oskar, injured and foraging for food in her kitchen, he becomes a rare and exciting secret. But Ireland during the `Emergency' is an uneasy place, and word of the parachute soon spreads.
Meanwhile, Elsa is haunted by the plight of the parents she left behind and with the threat of Nazi invasion, she feels far from secure. After a chance encounter with Elsa, Charlie, a young medical student, finds himself falling in love.
Oskar, Kitty, Elsa, Charlie. Their lives intertwine in a climate of war, exile, and ever-uncertain neutrality.
Annemarie Neary was educated at Trinity College Dublin and the Courtauld Institute, London. She is the winner of the Columbia Journal fiction prize, 2011 (US), and of the inaugural Posara Prize, 2011 (Italy). Closer to home, Annemarie has won placings in the international Fish and Bridport prizes, having been shortlisted for Bridport three years running. In 2009, she won the Bryan MacMahon short story award. Her short stories have been anthologised and published in magazines in the UK and Ireland.