Carrie and Nick Willow are evacuated to Wales during WWII. They are billeted with Councillor Evans, a strict god-fearing man, and his sister Lou, a gentle and kindly woman. The children are unhappy until they meet Hepzibah and the simple Mr. Johnny who work for the Evans’ elderly sister, Mrs. Gotobed. Just before the children return to their mother, old Mrs. Gotobed dies, and it seems that Hepzibah and Mr. Johnny will be turned out by Mr. Evans. Lou Evans runs off with an American soldier, and Carrie discovers that Mr. Evans is not all the ogre he seemed.
There are several nice points about this book: its opening, with the older Carrie returning to the village assailed by the belief that she caused the Evans’ house to burn down; the contrasting brother and sister characters of Nick and Carrie versus Lou, Mrs. Gotobed and Mr. Evans; the warmth of Hepzibah who looks after Mrs. Gotobed and Mr. Johnny in different ways and who comforts Nick and Carrie.