When eight-year-old Emma is whisked away from her home and family in the war-torn south of England to the seemingly safe but remote Northumbrian farm of her aunt and uncle, she has no idea what is in store for her in this bleak, isolated spot. Heartbroken at being separated from her mother, and fearful of her vindictive and bad-tempered aunt, Emma shadows her roguish but kindly uncle. She has to help on the farm, coping with a range of animals from the usual hens and pet lambs to aggressive geese and a killer ferret! Wartime comforts are scarce, and she has several alarming encounters with Nazi spies. Each month she artistically doctors the pig portraits on the kitchen calendar, using them as a means to mark off the time until she believes her mother will be coming back for her. But is she correct in this belief, or will she be left languishing far from her family and home for ever? This touching and poignant story, told through Emma’s guileless eyes, is at once funny, moving, anger-provoking and heart-warming.