France, 1915: Lieutenant Tom Donald envies everything about fellow officer Frank Foden - his confidence, his easy manner with the men in the trenches, the affectionate letters from his wife. Frank shares these letters happily, drawing Tom into a vicarious friendship with a woman he's never met. Although the bonds of friendship forged under fire are strong, Tom can't be so open with Frank - he's attracted to men and could never confess that to anyone.
When Frank is killed in no-man's-land, he leaves behind a mysterious request for Tom: to deliver a sealed letter to a man named Palmer. Tom undertakes the commission while on leave - and discovers that almost everything he thought he knew about Frank is a lie....
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A genuine love story that would warm your heart
I like the build up of the characters, the great description, the of-the-time appropriate vocabulary used (that I had to look up to discover what they meant) and small idiosyncrasies of all the characters.
I liked the twist to the story. Although somewhat guessable as the protagonist also wonders, I enjoyed how it was woven well before me.
The narration was sincere and variable which was good. Only issue I had was that the characters are meant to be in the 20-30s but with the narrators' voice, it made them sound much older. However, given the times that this was set, it may well be that this is how the projected their voices and spoke.
As secret love intended.
A perfect short story with a clear beginning and end that leaves the reader fulfilled.