Summary

By the Sunday Times best-selling author of Longbourne.
Paris, 1939: The pavement rumbles with the footfalls of Nazi soldiers marching along the Champs Elysees. A young writer, recently arrived from Ireland to make his mark, smokes one last cigarette with his lover before the city they know is torn apart. Soon he will put his own life and the lives of his loved ones in mortal danger by joining the Resistance....
Spies, artists, deprivation, danger and passion: this is a story of life at the edges of human experience and of how one man came to translate it all into art.
©2016 Jo Baker (P)2016 Random House Audiobooks
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Amazon Customer on 09-07-17

Fantastic

A brilliant book, filled with rich descriptive text, fascinating story and an insight into history told through a remarkable man who I had virtually no prior knowledge of. I highly recommend this book. The writer draws the reader into the story with great skill and from early on in the book I was enthralled.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By bookylady on 27-06-17

Fact Meets Fiction In World War II France

Jo Baker has a great talent for putting history on the page in unusual contexts. Her first novel, Longbourn, told the story of Pride And Prejudice from the viewpoint of the servants. This new novel tells the story of writer Samuel Beckett's wartime experiences in WWII France, in a fiction that is clever and deftly written. No prior knowledge of Beckett's work is needed to enjoy it.

The story begins in Paris, just before everything changes when the city falls to the Nazis. During the course of the plot we learn of the author's friendship with James Joyce, his desperation to avoid returning to his native Ireland, his flight from Paris with his lover Suzanne, his times with the French Resistance and his failure to progress the writing career he so badly wanted. After the war he works for an organisation which sets up a hospital in France and he rekindles his relationship with Suzanne. But, love does not prosper and he resumes his writing career.

This is a masterful piece of storytelling. The plot is straightforward, told in a linear style over several different time periods. The characters are well drawn and the story is interesting; there are no literary fireworks and the pace is a little slow at times, but overall it is a good read and very well written.

The narrator did a good job but I would have preferred more light and shade in his tone.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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