Olive Wellwood is a famous writer, interviewed with her children gathered at her knee. For each of them she writes a separate book, bound in different colours and placed on a shelf. This vivid saga is played out against the great, rippling tides of the day, taking us from the Kent marshes to Paris and Munich and the trenches of the Somme. A whole generation were heading to the darkness of the First World War and in their innocence, they were betrayed unintentionally by the adults who loved them. In a profound sense, this novel is indeed the children's book.