11 July 2011

The Girl In The Blue Beret, Book Review

From the Publisher:

Inspired by the wartime experiences of her late father-in-law, award-winning author Bobbie Ann Mason has written an unforgettable novel about an American World War II pilot shot down in Occupied Europe.

When Marshall Stone returns to his crash site decades later, he finds himself drawn back in time to the brave people who helped him escape from the Nazis. He especially recalls one intrepid girl guide who risked her life to help him—the girl in the blue beret.

Marshall’s search becomes a wrenching odyssey of discovery that threatens to break his heart—and also sets him on a new course for the rest of his life. In his journey, he finds astonishing revelations about the people he knew during the war—none more electrifying and inspiring than the story of the girl in the blue beret.

Intimate and haunting, The Girl in the Blue Beret is a beautiful and affecting story of love and courage, war and redemption, and the startling promise of second chances.

My review:

I first spotted this title in a magazine and the subject immediately caught my attention. Our local library kindly loaned me their copy and once I opened the book I could not put it down!

The Girl in the Blue Beret is everything the Publisher promised! Here is indeed a story so well written you will hear boots beating the sidewalks, sirens screaming, you will feel the despair of occupation and experience also the courage displayed by everyday people! 

Occupied Europe during World War 2 is a time most people try to forget yet its haunting shadows always remains. Few really like to speak of it, the ones who do are often reticent. 
The older folks will tell you the ones who speak often of their valour during the war stayed out of harm's way!

Atrocities were committed, many lost their lives...
Some became heroes, some became collaborators but lest we forget we are Christians, let's also remember that we should not judge whole nations by a few people's actions and this includes the ennemy. Unless we live through occupation ourselves we have no idea where we would stand.

We should never forget the incredible Resistance system that saved thousands of pilots from "Camp Germany". This story attest that Heroes are just ordinary men, women and yes, even youths who contrived to defy the odds because they believed in a cause. When your freedom has been forcibly taken from you by an outside force, your pride rallies and you fight back...or not...

Bobbie Ann Mason brings us an excellent rendition of one man's search to fill the gaps in his suddenly empty life. Turning 60, the airline for which he flew put him to pasture...Death for any flyboy!
In his search Marshall Stone will discover the true identity of the people of Belgium and France who risked their lives to save him and in the end find his way Home!

Being bilingual I particularly enjoyed the fluent transition betwixt the dialogues and the local flavours the author vividly describes! I clealy saw myself in that B17 landing on Belgian soil...

Forgive but never forget my Grandfather would always say...

I give it 5 stars!

A quick reminder as always of course: I was not asked to review this book and any opinion expressed is solely my own!

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