By Iain Pears
Henry Lytten - a undercover agent grew to become educational and author - sits at his table in Oxford in 1962, dreaming of alternative worlds. He embarks at the tale of Jay, an eleven-year-old boy who has grown up in the embody of his kin in a rural, peaceable international - one of those Arcadia. but if a supernatural imaginative and prescient factors Jay to query the principles of his international, he's introduced on a life-changing journey.
Lytten additionally imagines a special society, hugely regulated and ruled by way of expertise, that is attempting to grasp the technology of time travel.
Meanwhile - within the genuine international - one among Lytten's former intelligence colleagues tracks him down for one final assignment...
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She never knew if he was telling the truth. He deﬂected any follow-up questions by asking, “Did you get home late tonight? It’s cold in here. ” She nodded, and went to the pantry. She was starving, but she was so often hungry that she’d learned to think around it. “I took an extra shift. ” On the top shelf of the pantry there was a mixture of dried beans and corn that cooked up into a light stew. Briar pulled it down and wished she had meat to go with it, but she didn’t wish very long or hard. She set a pot of water to boil and reached under a towel for a bit of bread that was almost too stale to eat anymore, but she stuffed it into her mouth and chewed it fast.
With her overcoat fastened tightly across her chest and her hands jammed into the pockets, she set off for home. The way back from work was almost straight uphill, but the wind was behind her, billowing off the ocean and crashing up the ridges on the edges of the old city. The walk itself was a long one, but a familiar one, and she did it without giving much thought to the wind or the water. She’d lived with the weather so long that it was barely back ground music, unpleasant but unnoticed, except when numbness settled in her toes and she had to stomp to bring the feeling back.
Anyway, Zeke was mostly interested in the community, the camaraderie, and the chance to ﬁt in with a batch of boys who wouldn’t throw blue dye on him or hold him down and write terrible things across his face. So she understood, but that didn’t mean she liked it, and that didn’t mean she liked the red-haired beanpole of a boy who answered her loud and impatient summons. She pushed her way past a nun in a heavy gray habit and cornered Rector, whose eyes were too big and too earnest to be innocent of anything.