The Very Thought of You
By Rosie Alison
England, 31st August 1939: the world is on the brink of war. As Hitler prepares to invade Poland, thousands of children are evacuated from London to escape the impending Blitz. Torn from her mother, eight-year-old Anna Sands is relocated with other children to a large Yorkshire estate which has been opened up to evacuees by Thomas and Elizabeth Ashton, an enigmatic childless couple. Soon Anna gets drawn into their unravelling relationship, seeing things that are not meant for her eyes – and finding herself part-witness and part-accomplice to a love affair, with unforeseen consequences.
A story of love, loss and complicated loyalties, combining a sweeping narrative with subtle psychological observation, The Very Thought of You is a haunting and memorable debut.
Elegantly constructed, with a plangent dying fall of a twist in the final scene.
Melancholic, mysterious and heartbreakingly gorgeous.
A hugely affecting novel
The Yorkshire Post
A sincere attempt to depict the reverberations of war – chronicling fractured relationships and the inability to love in the right way … Anna is a likeable and memorable heroine.
Irresistibly romantic … a highly charged story of love, longing, betrayal and loss … written with such conviction that you can’t help but be swept along by its intensity.
The Mail on Sunday
Through a series of subtle plot devices and a haunting contemplation of the different kinds of love that we meet in our lifetime, the story builds to a page-turning and tear-jerking climax.
Lancashire Evening Post
Without question one of the best debuts I've read in recent years.
John Boyne, author of The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas
Born in 1964, Rosie Alison read English at Keble College, Oxford. She spent over ten years working in television, as a producer-director of arts documentaries (her director credits include The South Bank Show, Omnibus and Grand Designs). Currently Head of Development at Heyday Films in the UK – the production company of the Harry Potter film series – she has recently co-produced two feature films (The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas and Is There Anybody There?).
Read an interview with Rosie Alison here