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On May 3rd, 1942, fifteen-year-old Alma Braithwaite and her fellow boarders at Goldwyn's school huddle in an air-raid shelter as bombs rain down on Exeter. When the girls emerge, the school is in ruins. Twenty-one years on, Alma lives alone and teaches music at her old school. The arrival of a new student takes Alma back to that summer and the long shadow it cast on her life.