'What a radical thing, these days, to have written a book so full of warmth and kindness ... Gorgeous' - Max Porter, author of Lanny. A Times Book of the Year * An i Book of the Year * A Reading Agency Book of the Year * A BBC Radio 2 Book Club Pick * A BBC Radio 4 'Book at Bedtime' * An Observer Pick for 2019.
One summer following the Second World War, Robert Appleyard sets out on foot from his Durham village. Sixteen and the son of a coal miner, he makes his way across the northern countryside until he reaches the former smuggling village of Robin Hood's Bay.
There he meets Dulcie, an eccentric, worldly, older woman who lives in a ramshackle cottage facing out to sea. Staying with Dulcie, Robert's life opens into one of rich food, sea-swimming, sunburn and poetry. The two come from different worlds, yet as the summer months pass, they form an unlikely friendship that will profoundly alter their futures.