Written during WWI, this novel tells the story of Alix, a young woman who feels unanchored and powerless amid the pain and confusion caused by the war. She, her mother and brothers can't quite connect and share their real feelings about all that is happening. The death of one brother, and the anguish of unrequited love for a man who thinks of her as only a close friend, give Alix the inspiration to try and draw some meaning from her life.
This book is an example of literary fiction in which people think and speak a lot, without doing much else. Readers might find this a bit strange; this reviewer felt almost relieved when Alix's brother died in the war, because at least something was happening! Nevertheless, the story shows the lesser-known casualties of war, the civilians who get lost in the rush.