A young Scottish woman who falls in love with a World War II RAF pilot shortly before his plane is lost over France joins the Resistance movement to find him, only to discover a larger meaning in her new role
Blackwell North Amer
It is 1942, London is blacked out, but France is under a greater darkness, as the occupying Nazi forces encroach ever closer in a tense waiting game. Charlotte Gray, a volatile but determined young woman, travels south from Edinburgh. Working in London, she has a brief but intense love affair with an RAF pilot. When his plane is lost over France, she contrives to go there herself to work in the Resistance and to search for him - but then is unwilling to leave as she finds that the struggle for the country's fate is intimately linked to her own battle to take control of her life.
Faulks's novel is an examination of lost paradises, politics without belief, the limits of memory, the redemptive power of art and the existence of hope beyond reason. It is also a brilliant evocation of life in Occupied France and, more significantly, a revelation of the apalling price many Frenchmen paid to survive in unoccupied, so-called Free France. As the men, women and children of Charlotte's small town prepare to meet their terrible destiny, the truth of what took place in wartime France is finally exposed.
In a story reminiscent of the best-selling Birdsong, a young Scottish woman, who falls in love with a World War II RAF pilot shortly before his plane is lost over France, joins the Resistance movement to find him, only to discover a larger meaning in her new role. 75,000 first printing.
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