Billed as perfect for fans of Sadie Jones and Maggie O'Farrell, Elizabeth Day's writing has been described by Elizabeth Jane Howard as "both delicate and direct", and after her debut with Scissors, Paper, Stone, her second novel, Home Fires, is about to be published.
"Max Weston, twenty-one and a newly commissioned lance corporal, leaves home for his first posting in central Africa. Fiercely patriotic and completely at home in the army, he is eager to make a difference. He never comes back.
His parents Caroline and Andrew are devastated by the death of their only child. The overwhelming love Caroline has always felt for her son is now matched by the intensity of her loss, and as she is borne away on a private ocean of grief the mooring of their marriage begins to come loose.
The silence is broken by the arrival of Andrew's mother, Elsa, who at the age of ninety-eight can no longer look after herself. Caroline has never felt good enough for this elegant, cuttingly courteous lady and has lived for years in fear of putting a foot wrong. Now, suddenly, Caroline has the upper hand. As Elsa lies, marooned and disorientated, in the spare room, the past unspools in her mind, throwing up fragments of her anxious childhood in 1920s Richmond - under the shadow of her father, a soldier who returned from the Great War a different man."