A war. The girl she'd been. And the woman she was forced to become. A dazzling, heart-breaking story of friendship and redemption from bestselling author Jennie Jones.
Townsville, 1942. Young women aged sixteen and over are obliged by law to join the war effort, and Emma Hatton's world is at last about to change. Longing to escape the humdrum poverty of oceanside Blueholm Bay and the demands of her domineering mother, Emma reaches the bustling wartime mayhem of Townsville where the city streets are filled with glamorous GIs and red lipstick is the colour of the day. Befriending charismatic Cassie O'Byrne, Emma believes her adult life has finally begun.
Private Frank Kendrick's kisses make her heart beat faster and with all the talk of his family in California, surely a proposal is imminent. But after a hasty seduction, Frank disappears and Emma finds herself in trouble.
Her family's solution is the Holy Refuge of Saint Philomena in Brisbane, a prison-like 'home' where unmarried, pregnant young women are sent to repent and used as drudges while they wait out their term before their babies are forcibly adopted. Longing to keep her child, Emma befriends other girls struggling in this cruel environment while her dearest friend of all seeks a way to help.
Cassie's solution, and the courageous choices Emma must make, lead her to true adulthood, forever friendships ... and a home and family she could never have anticipated.