My first Howard Norman novel. It reminded me of a British situational cozy, in that it was rather like a stalwart Canadian character drama. In a wartime Nova Scotia setting, populated by people with strong moral compasses buffeted by the strains of WWII, Norman crafts a finely wrought tale of the lives of people colliding with fate and their choices. The structure of the overarching themes mesh together with interesting details of books, reading and the love of music. The novel ultimately resonates with a quiet strength of the value of lives of those who find themselves in untenable circumstances.