'Exquisitely original' - Ian MacEwan * 'An enthralling story of love and loss' - Robert Harris
In the long hot summer of 1939 Britain is preparing for war. But on a riverside farm in Suffolk there is excitement of another kind: Mrs Pretty, the widowed farmer, has had her hunch proved correct that the strange mounds on her land hold buried treasure.
As the dig proceeds against a background of mounting national anxiety, it becomes clear that this is no ordinary find... John Preston's recreation of the Sutton Hoo dig - the greatest Anglo-Saxon discovery ever in Britain - brilliantly and comically dramatizes three months of intense activity when locals fought outsiders, professionals thwarted amateurs, and love and rivalry flourished in equal measure.
'A tale of rivalry, loss and thwarted love so absorbing that I read right through lunchtime one day, and it's not often I miss a meal' - Nigella Lawson * 'A delicate evocation of a vanished era' - Sunday Times