When Noel Bostock—aged ten, no family—is evacuated from London to escape the Nazi bombardment, he lands in a suburb northwest of the city with Vera Sedge—a thirty-six-year-old widow drowning in debts and dependents. Always desperate for money, she’s unscrupulous about how she gets it.
Eccentrically educated and raised with a disdain for authority, Noel has little in common with other children, and even less with the impulsive Vee, who hurtles from one self-made crisis to the next. The war’s provided unprecedented opportunities for making money, but what Vee needs is a cool head and the ability to make a plan. On her own, she’s a disaster. With Noel, she’s a team.
Together, they cook up a scheme. . . .