Mr. Chartwell by Rebecca Hunt
July 1964. Chartwell, Kent. On the eve of his retirement from Parliament, Sir Winston Churchill has just woken up. There’s someone in the room with him, someone he’s known for a long time, but it’s not a friend. A dark, mute presence is watching him with rapt concentration. Soon after, in London, Esther Hammerhans, a young widowed government secretary, goes to answer the door to her new lodger. Through the windowpane she sees a vast, dark silhouette. Both the eminent statesman and the humble office worker have just been visited by Black Pat, “the black dog” of depression. For the man who saved Western Civilization he’s a familiar presence; for Esther he’s a stranger just come to rent a room. Or is he here to stay? In this beguiling, inspiring, and completely original debut, Rebecca Hunt illuminates the strange point of connection between two very different people and shows how the strength to persevere can pull a person from darkness to light.
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