Because this novel is now available on BookBud for .99 through Amazon and Barnes & Noble, I am re-posting my 2014 review. WWI fans, take note.
The young soldier on the cover is the author's Grandfather who served in WWI and WWII. Lovely cover .
Robert Louis Stevenson wrote that "The cruelest lies are often told in silence." This thought forms the premise of M.K. Tod's WWI novel of war, love, and betrayal of the cruelest kind.
It is May 1914, and based upon inside knowledge that his war department position gives him, 16 year old Helene Noisette’s father believes war is imminent. He is convinced that Paris will be Germany's next target. Long before most of his friends are fleeing Paris, he sends his wife, daughter, mother and younger son to safety.
In an irony of fate, within four months, this safe haven, a small village in northern France, is much closer to the war zone that is Paris, and the displaced family finds themselves in a sleepy rural village less than 20 miles from military buildups and battles. For some reason, Father Noisette stands by his decision and is adamant: Paris is unsafe. The family cannot return.
Thus for long, empty years, Helene, her mother, Grandmother and younger brother live within hearing, and often seeing, distance of the war. Their near isolation, however, brings these three generations of women together to cope, to love, and to learn about each other in ways that Paris would not have provided.
The isolation also provides young Helene with the opportunity to meet Canadian soldiers who are fighting valiantly for the Allies and France. Love blooms, grows, and promises a bright future. Battles with the enemy and with father promise something else entirely. The lovers are parted. The waiting begins. Will their love find a way and lead them back to each other or will the war and untold lies tear them apart forever.
The characters are believable and the setting is clearly depicted. the story, based upon historical facts of WWI and the author's vivid imagination, is told in clear, concise language. This is an easy read. I would recommend this book to readers of American and WWI historical fiction. I bought my Kindle edition through Amazon.