Gardens of Stone

  • by Stephen Grady, Michael Wright
  • Narrated by Gordon Griffin, Luke Thompson
  • 12 hrs and 20 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

An extraordinary wartime memoir, combining the best kind of adventure story with a coming-of-age testimony of unforgettable resonance and poignancy.
September 2011, Halkidiki, Northern Greece: A solitary 86-year-old man gazes across an Aegean headland, knowing that he must finally confront his past. He begins to write...September 1939, Nieppe, Northern France:14 year-old Stephen is living with his family, 25 kilometres from Ypres. His French mother battles with her encroaching blindness. Failing to escape the advancing German army, his English father can no longer look after the war graves that cast so heartbreaking a shadow across the region. Stephen and his friend Marcel embark upon their great adventure: collecting souvenirs from strafed convoys and crashed Messerschmitts.
But their world turns dark when arrested and imprisoned for sabotage and threatened with deportation or the firing squad. Upon his release, and still only 16, Stephen is recruited by the French Resistance. Growing up under the threat of imminent betrayal, he learns the arts of clandestine warfare, and - in a moment that haunts him still - how to kill....
Such was the impact of Stephen Grady's work for the French Resistance, (especially during the countdown to D-Day and its bloody aftermath) that he was awarded the Croix de Guerre and the American Medal of Freedom.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

The Best Yet

I actually heard about this book during a radio book review and I sought it out. Honestly, I'm an audible vetran and this book is the Usain Bolt of audio book world, it's sheer gold.

It's such a straight forward, well narrated story of heroism and guts that it is quite simply, astounding. It's written in an almost modest, apologetic way. To all those people of that time involved in the French Resistance, I salute you. To a man and women you should all tell you tale.
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- Ian

An incredible memoir

I loved this book and was utterly gripped. It was beautifully read with a wonderful transition at beginning and end from an elderly voice to the main narrator, which in itself was moving. This is a true story about a young Anglo-French boy growing up during the Second World War and his desperate need to make some impact against the occupation. His adventures begin in a low key fashion but cause him to be arrested; later he is recruited for the Resistance itself. It has the feel of a novel because it seems almost impossible to be true; and yet, of course, it is. It's one of the best books I have heard for a long time, and puts the sentimental novels set in occupied France to shame!
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- Sophie

Book Details

  • Release Date: 14-02-2013
  • Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton