Results of the Whitbread Book Award in the year 1987.
An eccentric woman in her 30s strikes a friendship with an adolescent boy in a small southern English town at the outbreak of World War II. The young man, who serves as the narrator, leaves to attend Oxford, while Kay, the woman, takes up with an American soldier. The patterns of life of the town and of the two friends are destroyed forever by the war, and Francis Wyndham’s prose gives us a window into this time, and its demise. The novel is short and simple, yet filled with first-rate writing. The book won England’s Whitbread prize in 1987.