This is a story of a life; a study of love, and as this study continues through the horror of war, we await the peace of love. The search for perfect love can be a long and lonely road. It can make us, or it can destroy us. All Antoine Lutz has ever wanted, is to be loved for what he is, but will that ever be possible?
The year is 1930, and Antoine is eight years old. He lives in Drombach La Ville, an Alsatian village surrounded by hills and vineyards, geographically dithering between France and Germany. His life is a kiss from his Mémère, a warm petite madeleine, and the sound of the church bells calling him to Mass. When his mother Marguerite elopes with her lover, he is smuggled out of Alsace, France and brought to York, England. Antoine harbours a secret, and grows up struggling to fit in, finding solace in his love of Haute Cuisine and a deep friendship with a girl called Violet.
With the outbreak of World War II, two familiar faces arrive at Antoine’s door, ousted from their home by the Nazis. But will they find a safe haven in York?
Antoine’s mother and her partner papa Henri find themselves at the helm of a large boarding house. They take in the unctuous Mr Smith, a purveyor of silk stockings, the abrasive love-hungry Freda, and an orphaned boy from London, named Patrick.
On a mild spring night in April 1942, York incurs a terrible bombing attack. Who will survive and who will fall? And those who are left, will they ever come to terms with their guilt?
As the people Antoine left behind in France once again become inextricably connected to his own destiny, he finally has to face the truth.