Charlotte Gray has had a privileged upbringing in the Scottish Highlands although there are dark undercurrents of fear and mistrust surrounding her relationship with her father, a WW1 veteran who never quite recovered from his experiences.
Charlotte moved to London during WW2 in order to 'do her bit' for the war effort and finds herself mixing with a pleasant but mainly superficial crowd of people. Her flat mates have little in common with her. She finds her job as a PA in a doctor's surgery unfulfilling and she begins to get bored.
At a party one night she meets Peter Gregory, an RAF officer, and they become close very quickly. Peter's plane is shot down during a mission over France and Charlotte is heartbroken. She leaves her job and trains as a courier for 'G' section, a government resistance agency, knowing that her training and missions will take her to France where she can search for Peter Gregory.
Her experiences with the French Resistance movement are fascinating and give a real insight into the lives of ordinary people affected by the Nazism of Vichy France. The characters are substantial and real and their fates affect you as if you actually knew them.
Although the book ends happily for Charlotte and Peter, there is a consistent undercurrent of lives being affected by war and individual lives of many of the characters end in tragedy. Charlotte grows in her own understanding of life and the world and becomes a lot less naive as the book progresses.
This report prepared by Fiona Laws