Terrified, a young prisoner in the Second World War closes his eyes and pictures himself going out to bat on a sunlit cricket ground in Hampshire. Across the courtyard in a Victorian workhouse, a father is too ashamed to acknowledge his son. A skinny girl steps out of a Chevy with a guitar and sings four songs that send shivers through the skull. Through desperation and desire, soldiers and lovers, parents and children, scientists and musicians risk their bodies and hearts in search of connection--some key to understanding what makes us the people we become. Provocative and profound, Sebastian Faulks's dazzling novel journeys across continents and time to explore the chaos created by love, separation and missed opportunities.