When George Bolton returns home to Devon at the end of the war, Rita assumes that her childhood sweetheart will marry her and that their future will be a reassuring continuation of their past. But the boy who joined the RAF has returned a man, and a man irrevocably changed by the horrors that he has seen. Unable to settle back into the sleepy country routine, George resolves to spend a year on the family farm in Argentina, and, despite her disappointment, Rita promises to wait for him.
Before he has even landed on Argentine soil, George has fallen in love with someone else, a woman who seems to soothe his troubled soul. He marries Susan even though he knows it will break Rita’s heart and, thousands of miles away, can avoid the consequences of his decision.
While he is away, Max de Guinzberg, the young Jewish refugee adopted by Rita’s eccentric grandmother, grows up. Tormented by the tragedy of his past, he finds solace in Rita, whom he has loved for as long as he can remember. But her heart still belongs to George.
When his father dies, George returns to Frognal Point to find he must revisit the past. Reawakened by his abiding love of the Devon countryside, memories of that youthful innocence return and George finds himself tempted by another agonising choice.
Crafted in the lush beauty of rural Devon, tempered in the scorching heat of the Argentine sun, The Swallow & The Hummingbird is a passionate romance in the grand tradition. With a cast of unforgettable characters, and a fond eye for the comedy – as well as the tragedy – of life, it will win Santa Montefiore a wealth of new readers.