Barefoot by RV Bayley
Wellington, 1939. A hot summer’s day at a church picnic. Adelaide watches as a girl is rescued from the river and resolves to meet the unassuming hero of the moment. After a claustrophobic, strict childhood, John Brunner is Adelaide’s chance for a new beginning. But trouble in Europe is brewing and Adelaide’s delight in her new married life is overshadowed by the declaration of war. John’s sense of duty sees him enlist and he sails for Egypt. When John’s first letter arrives, a foreign, exotic world is brought to life. His letters become Adelaide’s obsession, his words carrying her through the days, turning her house from marital home to a literary shrine of love and longing. Until the letters stop coming. Barefoot is a moving, evocative story of two people in love: one stranded in the new reality of the local war effort, the other in the stifling deserts and desolate battlegrounds of far-off lands; lands where danger is always just around the corner and death can snatch you in the blink of an eye.