Set in 1939 on a fragrant camomile lawn the innocence of the family is portrayed clearly. The gradual disintegration of this innocence with the onset of the war and how the war changes all the characters of the book - from simple youngsters, to fearful, suspicious adults. It also acts as a liberating factor both in their emotional and sexual lives. Almost a sexual revolution.
The whole story is in flashbacks when they attend Max's funeral - and snippets of past and present lives are intertwined in the story.
Some reviewers do not like the structure of the story - I looked beyond that to the period in which it was set which is a favourite of mine. It is an era long gone, unlikely ever to return and nostalgic! I like the simplicity of day to day life, the description of the rationing and deprivation which the war brought about, the rise of women in the workforce and the increase in independence for women are things which are of particular interest to me.
Liked this book.