How can one man stand up against the will of his own people and refuse to fight in a war he doesn't believe in? What sort of courage does it take to refuse to become one more brave soldier going off to war? Or is Gerry's anti-war attitude just a selfish desire to continue his comfortable life with his girl-friend, his leftist poetry-readings and his botanical research? Set in New Zealand and Italy during World War II, this novel portrays the anxieties and dilemma for a man who is conscripted to fight in a war he doesn't believe in. And when he is conscripted, Gerry Cook realises he is not heroic enough to refuse the call-up. Gerry's resolution of his dilemma is as clear as it is shocking. The intensely local setting of Lancewood portrays a very ordinary man and woman confronting universal questions of duty and love, honour and freedom. In Alan Marshall's first novel, he provides a perspective on war, in which rebellion against authority is the individual's only defence.