As the wife of a Resistance member in German-occupied Belgium, Claire Daussois has grown used to hiding strange men in her attic. By the end of 1943, the tiny room has housed dozens of Allied airmen, soldiers and other refugees, whom Claire nurses and harbours from the perpetual threat of discovery by the Gestapo.
The B-17 bomber that crash-lands outside Claire's village of Delahaut contains the man who will be both the last and the most significant of the attic's residents: US Air Force pilot Ted Brice. Ted is found severely wounded and semi-conscious by ten-year-old Jean Benoit minutes before the Germans begin their search for survivors. Knowing of Claire's connections with the Resistance, and desperate to atone for his father's shameful collaboration, Jean realises that Claire is the pilot's only hope of survival.
The month that follows will stay with them both for the rest of their lives. A few weeks only, a handful of days, it is a period in which the war recedes in the face of more powerful forces - before imposing itself once more with shocking suddenness.
Formerly a journalist (Newsweek, US magazine) and non-fiction writer, Anita Shreve's first novel EDEN CLOSE, published in 1990, introduced a distinctively individual voice to literary fiction. She is the author of ten other bestselling novels, all available from Little, Brown and Abacus.