Although Saplings (1945) is generally regarded as one of Noel Streatfeild's novels for adults, published under her pseudonym Susan Scarlett, it is at least partially told from the perspective of four children - Laurel, Tony, Tuesday, and Kim, as well as from the perspective of their mother, Lena. The Wiltshires are an idyllic middle-class family living in the comforts of Regent's Park in pre-Second World War London.
However, with the breakdown of society under German attack, the family, like so many others in Britain and elsewhere in Europe, begins to undergo its own rapid disintegration.
Streatfeild weaves between the fantasy and make-believe of her children's books and a more mature psychological realism, thereby conjuring a unique and compelling account of the far-reaching corrosiveness of war.
Saplings was republished by Persephone Books in 2000