Intimate, dark and powerful

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A beautifully written, thoughtful and powerful portrait of Britain, the effects of class within our society and how national and international events shape individual lives and family dynamics through the generations.

Drum and Carter cross paths when they join National Service in the 1950s. They loosely become friends on the first night after Drum notices a cards scam in progress and discretely alerts Carter, allowing him to avert a large gambling loss. However, the friendship is very much on Carter's terms, viewing Drum as a subservient useful asset and good luck charm. Coming from a respected and high ranking military family, Carter ostensibly takes Drum under his wing, securing safer postings but without Drum having any say.

Carter continues to exert a strong influence over Drum throughout his life, giving rise to significant family tensions. Through rich details and descriptions the time periods feel authentic and come alive, with historical events resonating through complicated characters and their complex relationships.