Mum said war was a punishment from God for people's sins, so he'd better watch out. She didn't tell him what to watch out for, though. When the Second World War breaks out, young Willie Beech is evacuated to the countryside. A sad, deprived child, he slowly begins to flourish under the care of kind old Tom Oakley. But then his cruel mother summons him back to war-torn London . . . Will he ever see Mister Tom again? 'Everyone's idea of a smash-hit first novel: full-blown characters to love and hate, moments of grief and joy, and a marvellous story that knows just how to grab the emotions'