It was all her doing. She had cried wolf, and the wolf had come.
It's July 1940, and 11-year-old Lydia has just run away from life as a child evacuee in Wales. She arrives in her English village, gas mask in tow, only to find it abandoned. Her family's house is shuttered and empty, the windows covered by black-out blinds - but Lydia settles in, determined to wait there until they return.
Late that night he comes: a wounded soldier, gun in hand, heralding a full-blown German invasion. There are, the man explains, certain rules that Lydia must now follow. He says he won't hurt Lydia, but she cannot leave the house.
As the unlikely pair coexists in the claustrophobic confines of the house, each becomes dependent on the other for survival. But when Lydia tries to uncover what brought the soldier to her door, she realizes that he knows more than he should about her family - and that he's plotting something for them both.
Eerie, gripping, and piercingly sad, The Dynamite Room brings a strikingly original and contemporary resonance to the great tradition of war classics. It shrinks the global theater of history's most devastating war to a game of cat and mouse played out in a single house - resulting in a moving portrait of war and how it affects soldiers and citizens alike.
"Suspenseful and powerful. A novel of great humanity that exposes the absurd contradictions of war." (Samantha Harvey, author of the Orange shortlisted/Booker longlisted The Wilderness)
"An effective psychological drama between two extraordinary characters. Claustrophobic, touching, character-driven, and told in lovely prose.... Readers who loved The Boy in the Striped Pajamas will have a strong affinity with The Dynamite Room."(Katie Ward, author of Girl Reading)
"Clever and unsettling, this most unconventional of war stories had me totally gripped." (Shelley Harris, author of Jubilee)
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