I've been a fan of Noel Streatfeild's since I was a little girl. I ate up the "Shoes" books and "Ballet Shoes" is one of those books I still occasionally re-read as an adult. Recently, thanks to a Twitter mention by a friend, I discovered Streatfeild also wrote novels for grown-ups, and one, long out of print, is available from a press called Persephone Books.
Set in World War II, Saplings tells the story of a family separated and then devastated by the war. From the first pages, Streatfeild describes the characters with a deep psychological insight that makes you think she had been reading John Bowlby's A Secure Base, but she actually wrote this book during the war (it was published in 1945 and ends at Christmas 1944).
If you are fascinated with England and the Second World War and families, I recommend this book.