The Greatcoat by Helen Dunmore is another ghost story but couldn’t be more different from The Small Hand, though equally atmospheric.

This is set in 1952, and Isabel, newly married, moves to Yorkshire with her husband who is a GP. It’s a time of austerity with rationing still in force and their flat isn’t very warm or welcoming. Isabel is left very much to her own devices as her husband is constantly busy. One night Isabel wakes freezing and wraps herself in an old greatcoat she finds at the back of a cupboard wakes.

And then there is a knock at the window and she sees a young RAF pilot wanting to come in….

This is a story of unfinished business, loneliness and passion, the impact of war  and how the recent past can come back to haunt. Very intense and powerful.

This was my seventh and final  Readathon read (or at least the last one I finished).

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