Anyone who is fascinated by the Second World War in France will be drawn to this novel. The heroes are officers in the French and British Armies: Edmond de Valliet, a talented amateur pianist and artist: Robert Cummings a businessman, and a Territorial Gordon Highlander. He marries the pianist Anne Favoret, who voices France's denial of Nazi ambitions in Europe in the 1930s.
Edmond and Robert retreat with the Fifty-First Highland Division to St Valéry where they are surrounded by Rommel's tanks in June 1940. The author draws a stark contrast between personal loyalty and political expediency which contributes to the tragic surrender of some of Britain's finest troops.
The novel unfolds against a backdrop of a hundred and fifty years of social unrest in France, and the division of church and state. The occupier and the collaborator, priest and aristocrat, receive little sympathy, but the manipulative tactics of the Resistance and the British Secret Services also come under scrutiny. In a war setting it confronts more 'modern' issues: homophobia, both societal and as a tool for blackmail, and the tussle between a woman's professional and private life. Anne finds fulfilment playing the piano as part of a classical music team for ENSA.
The prologue alludes to a mystery which holds the reader until the last page. What happened to Anne's adopted sister, Marie, for whom Anne felt jealousy, guilt and protectiveness? When war breaks out, Marie is left alone in Normandy, torn between the persuasive voice of a former admirer, and her autocratic brother-in-law, Charles de Valliet.
Now an old woman, Anne has discovered the truth, She tells her
She tells her story.
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.67(d)|