November 1944. A German rocket incinerates a South London household-goods store, and five young lives are atomised in an instant. Jo and Valerie and Alec and Ben and Vernon are gone. But what if it were possible to resurrect them – to let them experience the extraordinary, unimaginable changes of the twentieth century; to live out all the personal triumphs and disasters, the second chances and redemptions denied them? What kind of future would there be for clever, impulsive Alec? What would happen to Val in the world of men, beckoning beyond her all-female household? What would become of Vern’s greed – and his helplessness in the face of song? Would light or darkness fill Ben’s fragile mind? And where would Jo go, with the music playing in her head?