Something to Remember You By: A Perilous Romance
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Something to Remember You By: A Perilous Romance

by Gene Wilder
     
 

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Romantic, dramatic fiction set during World War II by the actor and author of Kiss Me Like a Stranger and My French Whore
Something to Remember You By begins during the siege of Bastogne, Belgium on Christmas Day, 1944. In a foxhole where he is caring for five American soldiers, innocent but clever young medic Corporal Tom Cole is

Overview

Romantic, dramatic fiction set during World War II by the actor and author of Kiss Me Like a Stranger and My French Whore
Something to Remember You By begins during the siege of Bastogne, Belgium on Christmas Day, 1944. In a foxhole where he is caring for five American soldiers, innocent but clever young medic Corporal Tom Cole is injured. Convalescing in wartime London, with its dimly lit blackout-compliant restaurants and mad dashes to the Tube station at the sound of the air raid sirens, Cole falls in love for the first time. But is the mysterious Danish girl he meets at the Shepherdess Café on the up and up? Cole is a cellist back home in the States, and Anna says she's a monitor at the War Office, scanning radio waves for incoming German planes. But is she? When Cole goes to the War Office one day to surprise his new lover, she's nowhere to be found.
Gene Wilder's Something to Remember You By takes Cole on a quest for the woman he loves but no longer trusts, and ultimately parachutes him, a newly minted intelligence officer, behind enemy lines into a concentration camp to save her life and discover the truth.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Actor Wilder's fourth novella (after My French Whore) begins on Christmas, 1944. Cpl. Tom Cole is sent to London to recover after a bomb blows up his foxhole. While he convalesces, his commanding officer visits and asks him to serve in the Intelligence Service once he is well. During his leave before showing up for his new orders, Tom meets a lovely young woman who says she is Anna Rosenkilde. They have a wonderful night but when he goes to find her at her office and boarding room, no one seems to know who she is. Does she exist? Is she a spy? So begins Cole's adventures with Anna and life as an intelligence officer. He must parachute into enemy territory to save her life and find out the truth. VERDICT Wilder has written a short, sweet novel about love and survival during World War II. If you are a fan of historical fiction with a happy ending, this book is for you.—Robin Nesbitt, Columbus Metropolitan Lib., OH
Kirkus Reviews
More sentimental fiction from actor/author Wilder (What Is This Thing Called Love?, 2010, etc.). Wounded in France on Christmas Day, 1944, American medic Tom Cole is discharged from an English hospital for a one-week leave in London. A motherly nurse sets him up with a free room, plus directions on which play to see and which restaurant to eat in. She's the second (after Tom's commanding officer) in a series of subsidiary characters whose cozy benevolence is certainly striking in the midst of a world war. Indeed, an atmosphere of unadulterated sweetness enfolds this very slight tale of Tom's romance with Danish refugee Anna Rosenkilde, whom he meets at the restaurant on his first night of leave. The only potential conflict--when Tom reports for an assignment in intelligence and discovers that Anna doesn't work in Radar, as she told him--is quickly resolved when she suddenly disappears and Tom learns that Anna is an agent of the Special Operations Executive and has been arrested after parachuting into occupied Denmark. Naturally, Tom immediately gets permission to attempt to rescue his love from a Nazi camp outside Alsace; naturally, he speaks fluent French and German (Dad was Austrian, Mom French); and naturally, he springs Anna with just a few blasts of submachine guns--which come into play again when the nasty Nazis break into the home where they are celebrating Passover with the family hiding them. Tom is wounded as they are fleeing France, but that doesn't stop him from insisting on returning when a British double agent reveals that the Frenchman who helped them has been captured. Treacly and entirely predictable, though it will no doubt appeal to undemanding readers looking for a warm and fuzzy adventure.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781250044525
Publisher:
St. Martin's Press
Publication date:
04/22/2014
Edition description:
First Edition
Pages:
176
Sales rank:
1,112,254
Product dimensions:
6.90(w) x 4.90(h) x 0.60(d)

Read an Excerpt

ONE

 

 

Bastogne—December 25th, 1944—A white and red Christmas

At 3:00 a.m. they woke in their foxhole after the ground shook from the explosions that had started up again. The water in their canteens had frozen. Because of Nazi flares the soldiers in the foxhole could see that they were surrounded by a blanket of snow. Yesterday, Cpl. Tom Cole, their medic, poured disinfectant into the stomach wound of Private Papales and then bandaged him, but the private was still bleeding. Their sergeant had been killed and Privates Lancy and Eggert were bleeding from rifle shots to their chests, their clothes wet from the snow and their faces freezing.

At the first sign of dawn, they heard the Nazi tanks starting to roll again.

“We’ll never get out alive, will we?” Private Papales asked softly, crying like the young boy he was. Tom Cole held the boy’s hand but didn’t answer.

Private Steen, who had not been wounded, screamed his lungs out at the approaching tanks, as if they could hear him: “Fucking Nazis—I don’t wanna die like this!”

The tanks drove back and forth over all the foxholes they could see, trying to crush the men inside, until a huge morning fog settled over the whole area. It allowed the 501st Paratroop Division to move in with their bazookas without the Nazis seeing them. When the bazookas started firing, the Nazi tanks left as fast as they could. Cheers rang out from all the scattered foxholes like a hundred-man chorus. Tom lifted himself up and thought the coast was clear enough to get his wounded men out of the stinking hole they were in. He lifted Private Papales out and laid him flat on the ground, telling him, “You’re going to make it now, Timmy.”

Tom went back into the foxhole and started to lift Private Lancy, who was still bleeding terribly, but a German tank suddenly came from out of nowhere and ran over Private Papales. Tom crawled up and looked at the private’s crushed body and head. Tom then pushed his own head into the young boy’s body and couldn’t stop crying.

“Forgive me, forgive me,” he whispered.

 

Copyright © 2013 by Gene Wilder

Meet the Author

GENE WILDER has been acting since he was thirteen and writing for the screen since the early 1970s. His first book, about his own life, was Kiss Me Like A Stranger. His fiction includes the novellas My French Whore and The Woman Who Wouldn't, and the short story collection What Is This Thing Called Love? Wilder lives in Connecticut with his wife, Karen.

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