Alec and Jerry shouldn't have been friends: Alec's life was one of privilege, while Jerry's was one of toil. But this hardly mattered to two young men whose shared love of horses brought them together and whose whole lives lay ahead of them.
When war breaks out in 1914, both Jerry and Alec sign up - yet for quite different reasons. On the fields of Flanders they find themselves standing together, but once again divided: as officer and enlisted man.
And it is there, surrounded by mud and chaos and death, that one of them makes a fateful decision whose consequences will test their friendship and loyalty to breaking point.
Jennifer Johnston was born in Dublin in 1930 and is one of our foremost Irish writers. Her fifteen novels include The Old Jest, winner of the Whitbread Prize, The Captains and the Kings, winner of the Evening Standard Best First Novel Award and the Yorkshire Post Award for Best Book of the Year and Shadows on Our Skin which was shortlisted for the Booker Prize. Her novel Fools Mortals was published in 2007. She lives in County Derry.