It is 1940, the time of the Phoney War. Britain stands alone with German invaders waiting across the Channel and an anxious population preparing for the bloody battle ahead. In an isolated girls’ boarding school, sixteen-year-old Judy Randall watches the coming of war with a mixture of fascination and fear. She is a misfit in an institution that prizes conformity; a Catholic with Jewish heritage and most inconveniently of all, she is autistic, and her behavior is misunderstood. Bored and frustrated by her inability to help the war effort, Judy becomes obsessed with the idea that the headmistress is a Nazi, and she goes to increasingly reckless lengths to prove her theory. This novel offers a glimpse into the early days of the Second World War and it also is a meditation on childhood guilt, innocence, loyalty, and the courage to stand alone. Paper.