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WWII Fiction

Carla
Compulsive Reader
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Postby Carla » Wed October 29th, 2008, 4:47 pm

"Vanessa" wrote:I have Ian McEwan's Atonement and Sebastian Faulks' Charlotte Gray on my TBR pile.


I liked Charlotte Gray. The book is a lot more complicated than the film.
PATHS OF EXILE - love, war, honour and betrayal in Anglo-Saxon Northumbria
Editor's Choice, Historical Novels Review, August 2009
Now available as e-book on Amazon Kindleand in Kindle, Epub (Nook, Sony Reader), Palm and other formats on Smashwords
Website: http://www.carlanayland.org
Blog: http://carlanayland.blogspot.com

annis
Bibliomaniac

Postby annis » Wed October 29th, 2008, 7:00 pm

]I still think that Sebastian Faulks' WWI novel "Birdsong" is my favourite of his works, though I did enjoy his recent rather surprising reprise of the James Bond novel, "Devil May Care".

I've just been reading a WWII novel with an interesting twist, Sara Young's "My Enemy's Cradle", which has as its theme the controversial German Lebensborn ("Fount of Life" in Old German) project , which was part of a systematic racial and eugenic selection programme.

The main character is a pregnant young Jewish woman who ends up in a Lebensborn maternity home, and there is plenty of tension as we wait to see if she and her unborn child will be discovered as "undesirables" and eliminated.
Last edited by annis on Sat November 8th, 2008, 4:12 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Margaret
Bibliomaniac
Interest in HF: I can't answer this in 100 characters. Sorry.
Favorite HF book: Checkmate, the final novel in the Lymond series
Preferred HF: Literary novels. Late medieval and Renaissance.
Location: Catskill, New York, USA
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Postby Margaret » Mon November 3rd, 2008, 10:27 pm

I've just posted Annis's review of My Enemy's Cradle at http://www.HistoricalNovels.info/My-Enemys-Cradle.html. As always, she does a wonderful job of summing up the novel and reflecting its voice and themes in her review.
Browse over 5000 historical novel listings and over 650 reviews at www.HistoricalNovels.info

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Margaret
Bibliomaniac
Interest in HF: I can't answer this in 100 characters. Sorry.
Favorite HF book: Checkmate, the final novel in the Lymond series
Preferred HF: Literary novels. Late medieval and Renaissance.
Location: Catskill, New York, USA
Contact:

Postby Margaret » Wed November 12th, 2008, 7:58 pm

Annis has written another one of her superb reviews, this one for Steven Pressfield's Killing Rommel, for www.HistoricalNovels.info. This novel is about a British/Commonwealth project to end Rommel's threat to the Allies in North Africa during WWII.
Browse over 5000 historical novel listings and over 650 reviews at www.HistoricalNovels.info

annis
Bibliomaniac

Postby annis » Wed November 12th, 2008, 11:42 pm

And for those who'd like to know more about the remarkable Field Marshall Rommel and the tactics of the North African campaign, Steven Pressfield has put together this very interesting documentary.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zHjxQmxZDuA&feature=related

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EC2
Bibliomaniac
Location: Nottingham UK
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Postby EC2 » Thu November 13th, 2008, 12:22 am

Very interesting thanks Annis and Margaret.
My father in law, now almost 87 fought in that theatre of WWII. He very seldom talks about it, but sometimes, his tongue loosened by a few drinks, snippets will emerge. I cannot imagine the hell he endured, joining up as an 18yr old private, winding up driving a tank and facing Rommel at Tobruk. At 22 he was a serjeant major and all of his friends were dead. Then through Greece and Italy. When he came home he drank himself silly on many an occasion and said that it took a long, long time before he was able to convince himself that he actually might have a life he could envisage beyond one more day....
Last edited by EC2 on Thu November 13th, 2008, 12:31 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: typo
Les proz e les vassals
Souvent entre piez de chevals
Kar ja li coard n’I chasront

'The Brave and the valiant
Are always to be found between the hooves of horses
For never will cowards fall down there.'

Histoire de Guillaume le Mareschal

www.elizabethchadwick.com

annis
Bibliomaniac

Postby annis » Thu November 13th, 2008, 12:32 am

EC, one of the things that initially drew my attention to "KIlling Rommel" was the fact that my father-in-law (sadly long gone now) was a soldier with the 2nd NZ Division of the British 8th Army which duelled with Rommel's forces in the desert. Like many men of his generation after the war he returned home and stoically got on with he rest of his life, as was expected back then. All stiff upper lip and no post-traumatic stress counselling! The highs and lows of war-time experiences were locked away, and only spoken of very rarely. On the odd occasion when he did speak about the war his eyes would become haunted by the ghosts of comrades lost. In New Zealand we call those men who returned the "silent casualties". They survived the war, but at what cost?
Last edited by annis on Thu November 13th, 2008, 12:34 am, edited 1 time in total.

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EC2
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Location: Nottingham UK
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Postby EC2 » Thu November 13th, 2008, 12:48 am

"annis" wrote:EC, one of the things that initially drew my attention to "KIlling Rommel" was the fact that my father-in-law (sadly long gone now) was a soldier with the 2nd NZ Division of the British 8th Army which duelled with Rommel's forces in the desert. Like many men of his generation after the war he returned home and stoically got on with he rest of his life, as was expected back then. All stiff upper lip and no post-traumatic stress counselling! The highs and lows of war-time experiences were locked away, and only spoken of very rarely. On the odd occasion when he did speak about the war his eyes would become haunted by the ghosts of comrades lost. In New Zealand we call those men who returned the "silent casualties". They survived the war, but at what cost?


Absolutely Annis. My father in law did his best to get on with his life, but it changed him. Some of the things he saw and did are just too sad and horrifying and traumatic to speak about - but then perhaps they shouldn't be swept under the carpet. He was definitely a silent casualty - that's a very good expression - although also a strong survivor. He hasn't been in a church since the war. There are men who, when they get together, have to talk about their experiences and it's like letting off steam, or perhaps trying to make sense of it to others who understand. My father in law has the opposite reaction and just walks out of the room. I'll be interested to read the Pressfield book; I don't know how my FIL would react.
Les proz e les vassals

Souvent entre piez de chevals

Kar ja li coard n’I chasront



'The Brave and the valiant
Are always to be found between the hooves of horses
For never will cowards fall down there.'


Histoire de Guillaume le Mareschal



www.elizabethchadwick.com

annis
Bibliomaniac

Postby annis » Thu November 13th, 2008, 1:25 am

Possibly a lot of returned servicemen did feel that they could only talk about their war experiences with those who shared them, and maybe they wanted to shelter their wives and families from the realities of war, but my FIL was the same as yours- he felt it was up to each person to sort themselves out.
Actually they must have followed in each others' footsteps- my FIL served in Greece and Italy after North Africa as well.

One thing my FIL did mention was the sheer stunning impact of the blinding lights and huge percussive sound of the major bombardments- I think they were just in a state of shock a lot of the time.

Whether your FIL would enjoy "Killing Rommel", I don't know. Pressfield goes to a lot of trouble to get his facts and details right, but you're always going to have your own opinion about events which you've experienced personally.

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Misfit
Bibliomaniac
Location: Seattle, WA

Postby Misfit » Thu November 13th, 2008, 2:59 am

At the risk of going OT (I see a War is Hell topic coming our way soon), I don't have any first hand knowledge of WWII from my father (I don't recall he had active duty), but I have to say when I read the Shaara Civil War Trilogy last year it just knocked my socks off. I had no idea how horrific this war was(and all war), let alone starting with that one that introduced cannons, trenches and did away with more traditional hand to hand sword fights of yesterday.

I am glad I read those books, and the eye opening it gave me, but I will never be able to read them again.


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