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In 1940, Helene – young, naive and recently married – waves goodbye to her husband, who has enlisted in the British army. Her home, Guernsey, is soon invaded by the Germans, leaving her exposed to the hardships of occupation. Forty years later, her daughter, Roz, begins a search for the truth about her father, and stumbles into the secret history of her mother’s life. As Roz discovers, truth is hard to pin down, and so are the rights and wrongs of those struggling to survive in the most difficult of circumstances.

Winner of the Waverton Good Read Award 2020

‘Striking... The irresolvable mystery of this story, in common with all great fiction, is the human heart’ Observer

‘Elegant. . . an unflinching narrative highlighting the moral complexities involved in living with the enemy’ Daily Mail

‘Page-turning... a very fine piece of storytelling and a highly intelligent examination of the difficult, indeed painful, choices that people have to make’ Scotsman

‘A wonderful evocation of wartime secrets and hidden histories, and a moving exploration of the far-reaching consequences they can have’ Catherine Hall


An evocative and engrossing story that travels between the Shah's Iran, modern Bahrain, London and the English countryside, Ceremony of Innocence explores one family's ambition in the aftermath of empire and the establishment's ruthless pursuit of power in the new world order.

'A fascinating gripping book sweeping over decades and continents delving cleverley into the secrets of international power and of those to run from it' Catherine Hall 

'This is a wonderfully original and compelling novel that puts you in mind of John le Carré’s The Night Manager... Intense, detailed and fast paced, Ceremony of Innocence is an elegant and satisfying read' 

The Observer

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