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With her children evacuated and her husband at the front, Tory Pace is grudgingly sharing the family home with her irascible mother, working at the local gelatin factory-to help the war effort, and generally doing just about as well as could be expected in difficult times. Her quiet life is thrown into turmoil, however, when her prisoner-of-war husband, Donald, makes an outrageous demand for sexual gratification. He wants a dirty letter! Horrified, at first, that Donald is being turned into some sort of monster by the Nazis, Tory's disgust gradually gives way to a sense of marital duty, and taking in the libraries, bookshops, public conveniences, and barbers' shops of South-East London, she begins a quest to master the language of carnal desire-a quest that takes a sudden and unexpected turn into far more dangerous territory. Beginning with an act of unintentional cannibalism, and flirting with a scheme to end world hunger by the use of protein pills, Letters from an Unknown Woman ranges widely across the continent and yet always returns home: to family, to people, to relationships. Woodward offers a prescient examination of the ways in which we both nurture and consume each other in the face of adversity.