News Of Our Loved Ones opening lines: Sirens. Was that what she’d heard?
Geneviève might live in America, and have American children, but she is French. Her life has been shaped by her childhood in Caen. And her experiences of World War II in her home town and Paris. She feels adrift amongst her family, but even more so when in America. It is only the time she spends in France each summer, without the ties to everyone, that she feels most like herself.
News Of Our Loved Ones
Over four long years, the Delasalle family has struggled to live in their Nazi occupied village in Normandy. Maman, Oncle Henri, Yvonne, and Françoise silently watched as their Jewish neighbors were arrested or wordlessly disappeared. Now in June 1944, when the sirens wail each day, warning of approaching bombers, the family wonders if rumors of the coming Allied invasion are true—and if they will survive to see their country liberated.
For sixteen-year-old Yvonne, thoughts of the war recede when she sees the red-haired boy bicycle past her window each afternoon. Murmuring to herself I love you, I love you, I love you, she wills herself to hear the whisper of his bicycle tires over the screech of Allied bombs falling from the sky.
Yvonne’s sister, Geneviève, is in Paris to audition for the National Conservatory. Pausing to consider the shadow of a passing cloud as she raises her bow, she does not know that her family’s home in Normandy lies in the path of British and American bombers. While Geneviève plays, her brother Simon and Tante Chouchotte, anxiously await news from their loved ones in Normandy.
Decades later, Geneviève, the wife of an American musician, lives in the United States. Each summer she returns to her homeland with her children, so that they may know their French family. Geneviève’s youngest daughter, Polly, becomes obsessed with the stories she hears about the war, believing they are the key to understanding her mother and the conflicting cultures shaping her life.
This would not ordinarily be the type of book I would select. But knowing the area from our visit to Normandy I chose to read it. I found myself immersed in the book as I knew the streets the people were walking down. And it is why I so enjoyed reading about Paris even though it was during an awful time in our history. A truly wonderful novel that will show another side to the survival of people who experienced WWII.
|On sale:||January 2020|