It is 1945, and London is still reeling from years of attritional war. 15-year-old Nathaniel and his sister seem to have been abandoned by their parents in a big house in Putney, and the ruined city is a strange Expressionist jungle after the Blitz, which the teenagers use as their playground. The Black Market and petty criminals are thriving and the two children's eccentric guardians - nicknamed the Moth and the Darter - are busy smuggling munitions through the darkened London streets, or greyhounds from France through the rivers and canals.
When the children discover that their mother has not gone to Singapore as announced, and is actually engaged in perilous work for British Intelligence - and that the Moth and the Darter are protecting them from harm - the novel darkens and deepens into Nathaniel's search for the truth: for the mother he lost once and may well lose again.
Michael Ondaatje, one of our greatest living writers, surpasses himself with this vivid, thrilling new novel: a classic adventure with a cast of brilliantly-drawn characters on secret missions through the Suffolk countryside and the London blackout, and one boy's quest to discover his mother - who she was, and who she really is.
"The English Patient author Michael Ondaatje weaves another tale of love, loss and memory against a backdrop of World War II... The mysteries come together through a complex, non-linear narrative that revisits and revises each development with careful scrutiny."
Number Of Pages: 304
Available: 7th June 2018
Publisher: Random House