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About the Author
Rupert Colley was born one Christmas Day, which means, as a child, helost out on presents. Nonetheless, looking back on it, he lived a childhoodwith a "silver spoon in my mouth" - brought up in a rambling manorhouse in the beautiful Devon countryside. It's been downhill ever since. He was a librarian for a long time, a noble profession. Then he starteda series called History In An Hour, "history for busy people", whichhe sold to HarperCollins UK. Rupert now lives in London with his wife, two children and dog (a fluffycockapoo) and writes historical fiction, mainly 20th century war and misery. Historical fiction with heart.
Fascinating book that raises very interesting and unusual questions for this genre (Second World War novels). Nothing in this story is black and white. The hero, a teen-ager, growing up in war torn France right after the invasion of the German occupiers is struggling with a number of issues, some of which are typical of his age (unrequited love, an ambition to become a great artist, and complex relationships with his parents). However, the main problem that he is struggling with is not a usual one for any age, he is torn between his loyalty to his family and his loyalty to his country. His loyalty to his family calls for doing anything possible to save his father, who is held as a prisoner by the Germans, while his loyalty to his country calls for doing anything possible to free his country from the German invaders even if this means sacrificing his family. The book starts with a reminder to the readers that a great number of French people were either active or passive collaborators with the Nazis during the war. It then demonstrates through the details of the story why some French chose to be collaborators. It becomes evident, as the book unfolds, that those who collaborated did not necessarily do it because of weakness of character, expectations of reward, or even fear...In many instances, it was actually out of courage, loyalty to their family, or even loyalty to their nation. This is a book that forces the reader to look deeply into his/her own soul and ask what would I do if I were thrust into the moral dilemmas that these people had to deal with? If I were to join the resistance would I be doing it for the right reasons? If I were to collaborate with the enemy, would I be doing it for the wrong reasons?
I recently started to read some other books by this author and enjoyed this one just as much as the others. He has a way of writing that keeps the reader wanting to read just a little more before pausing. For anyone interested in WW II fiction, this book was as good as any that I have read.
It kept me enthralled and worried about the people I met through the story. I can not imagine how hard their lives were living under the nazis. I do hope that there were a few humane ones like Major H.
This book was well spell checked. Ne errors there. That's it. But it was nit proof-read. Far too many words appeared in the reverse order. Made me think that English was not the author's native language. Biggest problem was the ending. It is not necessary that a book have a happy ending. it IS necessary that the ending be satisfying. This ending was far from that. Seemed like he reached his desired word count and stopped typing. Too bad, could have been a good read if it followed through with events in the beginning.
This was a very well written book in an easy style. The story was told with great poignancy through the eyes of a 17 year old boy. To me this was a story of everyday people living and coping with extraordinary times and not really realizing how extraordinary they were themselves. This is a book with difference. I will look for more books by this author.