In 1942, Charlotte Gray, a young scottish woman, goes to Occupied France on a dual mission: to run an apparantly simple errand for a British special operations group and to search for her lover, an English airman called Peter Gregory, who has gone missing in action. In the small town of Lavaurette, Sebastian Faulks presents a microcosm of France and its agony in 'the black years', here is the full range of collaboration, from the tacit to the enthusiastic, as well as examples of extraordinary courage and altruism. Through the local resistance chief Julien, Charlotte meets his father a Jewish painter whose inspiration has failed him. In Charlotte's friendship with both men, Faulks opens up the theme of false memory and of paradises--both national and personal--that appear irredeemably lost. In a series of shocking narrative climaxes in which the full extent of French collusion in the Nazi holocaust is delineated, Faulks brings the story to a resolution of redemptive love. In the delicacy of its writing, the intimacy of its characterisation and its powerful narrative scenes of harrowing public events, "Charlotte Gray" is a worthy successor to "Birdsong,"
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In 1942, Charlotte Gray goes to Occupied France on a duel mission, to run a simple errand for a British special operations group and to find her lover, an English airman who has gone missing in action. It is in the town of Lavaurette that she finds friendship and experiences life under Nazi rule. From the author of BIRDSONG.Review:
Sebastian Faulks established his authority as a storyteller with his best-selling Birdsong. His next book, Charlotte Gray, a haunting story of love and war set in London and occupied France in 1942-3, is loosely a sequel. Charlotte is a highly educated young Scottish woman who falls passionately in love with an airman, Peter Gregory, emotionally scarred by his many close brushes with death. When he disappears on a mission to France, she follows him as a British secret courier, sent over to help support the Resistance. Having failed to find Gregory, she decides to stay on to do what she can for the France she has loved since childhood. She and the reader are drawn ever deeper into the lives of assimilated French Jews-- the children Andre and Jacob whose parents have already been sent to the death camps, and the Levades, father and son. Though ultimately powerless to help, Charlotte nevertheless learns a far deeper understanding of herself and her own family through them.
This is a book full of insight into the way civilization can slip into barbarism. Its haunting themes of memory and passion stay with you long after you have finished reading. --Lisa Jardine
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Book Description 2002-01-24., 2002. Book Condition: New. Vintage. New edition. Paperback. Book: GOOD. 400pp. . Bookseller Inventory # NF-1746267