From the back cover: "don't forget the Prisoners of Peace - the people who've had to live battened down, all their lives, pretending to conform, pretending to be what they aren't. And that applies to most of us."
Honor Carmichael and her two young children are uprooted to Lanfield, where her husband Colin, a dapper, small-town doctor, is stationed at the RAMC hospital. She is visited by her sister Claudia, whose friend, Andrew, waits to be invalided out of the Army. Whilst Andrew dismisses himsely as "damaged goods", Colin beomes absorbed by the petty feuds and power games of uniformed life - most particulary with the arrival of Captain Herriot, a commando and the C.O.'s current favourite. Apparantly peripheral to this "male pirouetting", Honor and Claudia are nevertheless deeply affected by this war. For its threat to notions of masculinity forces both women to reassess the roles they've always played. First published in 1945, this exploration of the crushing psychological effects of war is 'a sensitively and beautifully told story - perfectly drawn" - Stevie Smith.
Betty Miller (1910-1965) novelist and biographer, was born in Cork and lived most of her life in London, where she married the psychiatrist Dr. Emanuel Miller (their son is Dr. Jonathan Miller). Best known for her biography of Robert Browning, her friends included Stevie Smith, Isaiah Berlin and Rosamond Lehmann.