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A Wonderful Story,
on March 4, 2013
The Light Behind The Window is told in dual-time narrative, a concept that works so well and that Lucinda Riley has mastered excellently. Weaving the modern-day story with the historical background adds a further dimension to the story.
Emilie de la Marinieres finds herself the sole inheritor of a grand chateau in southern France, the death of her Mother has evoked many feelings for her, not all of them good, and many of them very painful. Emilie has always distanced herself from her Mother and has been living a very ordinary life in Paris. As Emilie begins to sort through her family affairs, she discovers a notebook of poems, written by her Father's sister Sophia. Sophia was never spoken about and is something of a mystery, as Emilie begins to dig deeper into the family secrets she become more and more involved in the past.
Back in 1943, Constance Carruthers has been chosen to become part of the Special Operations Executive, she's an ordinary office worker, newly married to a husband who has been missing in action since almost the beginning of the war. After intense training, Constance finds herself in occupied France on a dangerous mission that could cost her her life.
Constance finds herself caught up in a complex situation masterminded by Edouard de la Mariniers, and so the connection between the two families begins.
Back in the modern day story, Constance's grandson Sebastian has appeared, and he and Emilie become closer and closer. Does Sebastian know more than he is admitting to?
I became really emotionally attached to these characters, although I did find Emilie's story a little slow in the beginning, everything soon began to move at a very quick pace and the connections to Constance's war-time story were riveting.
Churchill's Special Operations Executive programme was completely new to me, a part of the war that I knew nothing about and I found the details entralling.
This novel really is a joy to read, expertly woven together and mixing social history with family dramas and love and relationships - the perfect blend.