Novel set mainly on CRETE past and present
Book of the Month – June 2021
1st June 2021
An Act of Love by Carol Drinkwater, novel set in the Alpes-Maritimes in WW2.
“A moving story of love and friendship with a wonderful sense of place” (Kate Mosse)
Summer is coming in a small village in the Alpes-Maritimes, where a young Jewish woman, Sara, has landed in 1943 with her parents. She is a mere 17 years old and the family has fled from Lodz in Poland. They are stationed in a house, owned by an English family and they know that this is only a temporary lodging until such time they are forced to move again. The Germans are moving steadily nearer and the summer idyll is fragile.
Sara is a resourceful young woman, who already has language skills and a capable disposition, in contrast to her mother who has suffered greatly after the long, terrifying journey. Her father has medical skills and is soon assisting people who need his input. Sara learns that she is not to ask too many questions. She spends her morning caring for the 2 young Lindemann children, also refugees and soon gives a helping hand to Mme Decroix at the local school.
She is also experiencing a blossoming romance with Alain and as they walk and picnic and enjoy the burgeoning summer, she senses there is a darkness about to descend. When crisis point comes, her family is separated and Sara, who has been growing in confidence, finds her courage and determination tested. Where will the remainder of the war years take her?
As always the author is so good at setting her characters in an evocative location. The humming heat of the mountains and pastures, the food and plants all add extra texture to the poignant story. This is a coming-of-age story that will stay with you, heartened by the resilience of human nature in extreme conditions.
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