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Summary

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

What members say

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Peter
  • Alcabideche, Portugal
  • 01-09-11

An exceptionally well told story, in every respect

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.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • laura
  • london, United Kingdom
  • 12-09-11

Stunning

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.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Mikey
  • poole, United Kingdom
  • 10-02-15

Absolutely loved it

Would you listen to Charlotte Gray again? Why?

Yes. This was, in fact, my second time around. I had listened to it on iTunes before my days of audible.

Any additional comments?

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!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Mrs
  • London, United Kingdom
  • 12-11-14

absorbing story and perfomances

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

yes, I had forgotten what a good story this was having read it when it was first published.

What other book might you compare Charlotte Gray to, and why?

Red Joan - war time story about people lives and the sacrifices they made.

Have you listened to any of Jamie Glover’s other performances? How does this one compare?

Not sure - probably. He was excellent.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Not really.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

All going well the Western Front - Still listening

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

As this is my first audio book I don't want to give this a 4 or 5 star rating just yet, as I'm pretty certain that there are plenty of others out there. But, so far so good, I was a little reticent about having an audio book, as I do like to read but, at £7.99 a month, I will want to listen to a book a month. I'll have to choose carefully though

What was one of the most memorable moments of Charlotte Gray?

So far I like the fact that Charlotte has managed to get herself through to D Section, and it was a bit obvious that it wasn't going to go too well for Peter on his covert missions, but I didn't mind that.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

Not sure what is meant by this question. Is it that the narrator is representing the book in a manner that is different from the book itself, if so, I've not read the book so I wouldn't be able to comment.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

So far...... interested

Any additional comments?

Next chapter please........

3 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Gripping and fascinating throughout.

Narating was brilliant using multiple accents and voice tones. This combined with the descriptive writing served to paint and extremely vivid picture at all times. A fascinating story placed in a thoroughly researched background.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Disappointed

A very long novel brilliantly narrated. Story line hard to follow. Not as good as birdsong. I may give his other French trilogy novel a go as I have that one as well.