This is a romantic novel with a huge cast. But it is set in the 1940s just before the Americans join in the war; in the last few pages we hear about the attack Pearl Harbour. The plot may be a little exaggerated for the serious scholar but it nevertheless gives us some insights into many aspects of civilian life in Britain and the civilian perception of war activities. So we have material about:
Attitude to gay men
Women becoming independent
The work house (yes, I was surprised it still existed!)
Awkwardness when men returned on leave
The black out
Fear that Hitler will invade – I think we often forget about this as we know that he didn’t.
Effect of Russian winter