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Stella Bain Paperback – May 27, 2014
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From Publishers Weekly
Shreve's 17th novel is a tragic yet hopeful story of love, memory, loss, and rebuilding. A young woman wakes up with amnesia in a battlefield hospital tent in Marne, France, in 1916. She thinks her name is Stella Bain, and she thinks she knows how to nurse and drive an ambulance. As she recovers, she returns to duty in this new environment, caring for the wounded and dying. When she arrives in the city exhausted and destitute, she's discovered in a park by a doctor's wife, who takes her in. The doctor, Augustus Bridge, is a cranial surgeon with an interest in psychiatry. Stella becomes a €œquasi-patient€; he finds a way to get her into the Admiralty, and, when a former friend recognizes her by name, her memories return, including the fact that she has children—and the reason why she left them. The amnesia and its cause are only part of the story; the lack of understanding at the time of the consequences of witnessing the horrors of war, for both men and women, also plays a key role. The novel is both tender and harsh, and the only false note is the use of present tense, which prevents the reader from being pulled in more closely. Shreve's thoughtful, provocative, historical tale has modern resonance. Agent: Jennifer Rudolph Walsh, WME Entertainment. (Nov.) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"Harrowing. . . . With the story of this one woman, Shreve gives shape to the larger world of the Great War." ---Carol Iaciofano, NPR
"Spare, elegant. . . . Shreve's fans will appreciate her keen understanding of women's struggles to live life on their own terms." ---Helen Rogan, People
"Compelling. . . . Shreve cleverly and movingly shifts between Stella's two lives." ---Jocelyn McClurg, USA Today
"Touching, heartbreaking, sometimes so vivid you can almost feel the fear." ---Karen Campbell, Boston Globe
"Fascinating....A slender novel with a large and complex subject." ---Carolyn See, Washington Post
Top customer reviews
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I've read most all of Anita Shreve's books over the last few years, and can say that she has been hitting her stride for most of them and hasn't disappointed in any of them. The story lines and characters forever change from book to book, and it's a treat every time I read one.
She ends up nursing in horrible war time conditions, eventually finding Phillip she tells him the truth about the lie her husband told that caused Phillip to flee America. The story progresses from there to Etna losing her memory finding her way to a surgeons home where she believes she is Stella Bain.
SHREVE winds the story through therapy and finally to the place where Stella is sure she will find the key to her lost memory. The remainder of the story never lets the reader down. Captivating and interesting to the very end. As always with Shreves books she doesn't disappoint.
The story moved slowly and I felt that the main character, Stella, was dull and lacked passion and personality.
The story is colorless and I felt no sympathy for Stella or much interest in the outcome.
Usually I finish Shreve's books very quickly, but I have had trouble plodding through this one.
I would not buy this again, and I would not recommend this book to anyone else.
is two books. The first half, a nurse at work during WWI, who loses
her memory during battle is great stuff. Upon regaining her memory,
the book slides into pure "soap" and drowns in its bubbles