As World War One draws in over Oxford, it brings women unexpected new freedoms. Peggy, working as a bookbinder, has the chance of a new future. But will the chaos of war force her to choose between duty and her dreams? 'Your job is to bind the books, not read them.'When the men of Oxford University Press leave for the Western Front, Peggy, her twin sister Maude and their friends in the bookbindery must shoulder the burden at home.
As Peggy moves between her narrowboat full of memories and the demands of the Press, her dreams of studying feel ever more remote. She must know her place, fold her pages and never stop to savour the precious words in front of her. From volunteer nurses to refugees fleeing the horrors of occupation, the war brings women together from all walks of life, and with them some difficult choices for Peggy.
New friends and lovers offer new opportunities, but they also make new demands - and Peggy must write her own story.