There are a number of interesting characters in the novel. The main character is a young woman named Beatrice whose father recently passed away leaving her alone in the world. She takes up residence in a small English town where she plans to teach school, write, read, and never marry. Before long, she becomes acquainted with the locals and adjusted to life in a small town.
The war begins and Beatrice decides to take-in a traumatized female Belgian refuge who has been displaced by the Prussian invaders. At this point, the story gets interesting.
It took me a while to get into this book. However, once I did, I enjoyed it very much. Much of it is about societal changes which were taking place in addition to the war itself. I thought some parts of it were a bit lengthy, but by the end of the book, I was emotionally attached to the characters and reaching for the kleenex. I recommend this novel. It is a beautifully told story.