It is 1910 and to ten-year-old Oskar Grunewald, the Melville family is impossibly, incomprehensibly glamorous. Born into privilege, buttressed by inherited wealth, their certainties are as unshakeable as the walls of their Victorian castle. It is a world to which Oskar, mathematics prodigy and son of a penniless German composer, has wish to belong. His fascination is all for physics where new scientific discoveries are, for the first time in four hundred years, challenging Newton's fundamental theories of the universe. But when Theo Melville is killed in the Great War, shattering his family's lives, Oskar finds himself drawn reluctantly into the gaping hole his death has left behind. As Theo's two sisters struggle to forge their paths in a world that longer plays by the old rules, Oskar's life becomes entwined with theirs in ways that will change all of their futures forever.
Clare Clark's critically acclaimed novels include The Great Stink and Savage Lands, both longlisted for the Orange Prize for Fiction. She is a regular contributor to the Guardian and writes for numerous other publications, both in the UK and the USA. She lives and works in London.