Wartime secrets threaten one woman’s life in the latest thrilling drama from the author of The Gunner Girl and The English Agent. World-renowned war artist Dame Laura Knight is commissioned to paint propaganda portraits of factory girls and is sent to the ordnance factories in her hometown of Nottingham. At first she relishes the opportunity for a nostalgia trip, but when she starts work on a portrait of two particular women, Violet Smith, and her co-worker Zelah Fitzlord, memories begin to resurface that she has spent half a lifetime trying to forget.
Violet is an industrial conscript, and her wages help support a sprawling family back home in Kent. But working in munitions also meant freedom from a small-town mentality, and the disappointment of a first love turned sour. For Zelah, too, working in the gun factory meant escape: her dreams of the future were dashed in the carnage of the Plymouth Blitz, and she found refuge in the numbing repetition of manual work.
But, just like war artist Laura, Violet and Zelah have something hidden, mistakes that they have tried to leave behind with their old selves. Will the night shift keep these women’s secrets, or will the past explode into the present and change all of their lives forever?
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