In 1942, Charlotte Gray, a young Scottish woman, goes to Occupied France on a dual mission: to run an apparently simple errand for a British special operations group and to search for her lover, an English airman who has gone missing in action. In the small town of Lavaurette, Sebastian Faulks presents a microcosm of France and its agony in 'the black years'. Here is the full range of collaboration, from the tacit to the enthusiastic, as well as examples of extraordinary courage and altruism. Through the local resistance chief Julien, Charlotte meets his father, a Jewish painter whose inspiration has failed him. In a series of shocking narrative climaxes in which the full extent of French collusion in the Nazi holocaust is delineated, Faulks brings the story to a resolution of redemptive love. In the delicacy of its writing, the intimacy of its characterisation and its powerful narrative scenes of harrowing public events, Charlotte Gray is a worthy successor to Birdsong.
©1998 Sebastian Faulks (P)2011 Random House Audio Go
I thoroughly enjoyed listening to this intriguing story which was made all the more enjoyable by Jamie Glover's brilliant rendition. The accents which he uses are particularly praiseworthy, from the "pear-fect" soft Highland intonations of the Gray family to the clipped 1940's BBC accents of the Whitehall chappies - I felt that time & space had been transcended.
The story is of war so it is not a happy tale but it is such a well developed story, obviously meticulously researched, that the human elements of the conflict are all powerful.
Having listened to Faulk's earlier story, "Birdsong" about the First World War, I was quite emotionally moved by the links which he had so cleverly contrived to include in this story. It somehow made it all the more real.
I was blown away by this book, slow to start, it became totally addictive and I was engrossed. Truely believable characters in a highly detailed and well researched world. I cannot recommend it enough.
My perfect night in: Cup of tea, all my wonderful audible books and dramas and a comfortable seat on top of my bed. Nuf sed'
Yes. This was, in fact, my second time around. I had listened to it on iTunes before my days of audible.
This book is nothing short of a stunning rendition with marvellous historical references which will inevitably appeal to readers interested in the WW2 era.
The characters, as read superbly by Glover, remain as some of my favourite to listen to and I would probably even give this yet another listen. I definitely found listening to it a second time round I noticed more about the story; it's layered.
After this I would even dare to say that this is one of my favourite audiobooks (although I do have quite a few now). Faulks' exploration of love amidst trauma and devastation is absolutely masterful, he truly is unmatched and unrivalled in these areas.
Long story short: please buy this. Listen to it with a cup of tea under a blanket and be prepared for a bit of emotion. This book reminds me why Sebastien Faulks is one of my favourite authors: I implore and strongly urge you to buy it. Then like this review when you finish and enjoyed it as much as me!
yes, I had forgotten what a good story this was having read it when it was first published.
Red Joan - war time story about people lives and the sacrifices they made.
Not sure - probably. He was excellent.
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