I have been a fan of her books for some time now. This one really sealed the deal. I can't believe I forgot this one when updating everything yesterday.
Ted, an American pilot during WWII is shot down over Belgium, injured he tries to hide from enemy forces. A boy, Jean Benoit, finds him hiding in the trees and brings him to the home of Claire and Henri, part of the resistance in Belgium. Claire once a nurse, nurses Ted back to health and their love story begins.
The Nazi assigns pilots to guard the plane, in the middle of the night those guards are killed. The Nazis begin "retribution" and kill members of the community including the young boy Jean Benoit. Henri goes into hiding with some other male members of the resistance. During that time while Henri is gone, Claire and Ted begin an affair.
It was an amazing love story. I love a good story set in World War II, in particular human stories. Claire is an interesting character for me as she is not unhappily married, but yet without much preamble falls into bed with Ted. It wasn't even that she was a woman of loose virtues.
I tried to think of the contrast of that during war time. We are very lucky in America to have never been invaded by an enemy such as the Nazis. But I couldn't help thinking in an instance such as that during a war, how one would act outside of themselves. If you think each day could be your last day, would you do something you would normally not.
In the end of the book, Ted's son goes to meet Claire not knowing anything of their relationship. It was fascinating that she had no real regrets. Was it because of the daughter she conceived with Ted or love? I like to think it was love.
Anyway another brilliant book by Anita Shreve!
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