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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Girl In The Blue Beret.



You can’t judge a book by it’s cover they say, but I did. It showed a rain slicked city street somewhere in Europe. Possibly Paris, I thought. The cars were 1930's vintage for sure. It was twilight with a slight fog hanging in the air. The street lights were aglow and there were few people about. Still a young woman , wearing a coat and a dark beret was crossing the street. The whole scene was somber, mysterious even a bit frightening. Something about it all made me think of Anne Frank.......
Thus, I was drawn into readomg author Bobbie Ann Mason’s new novel, The Girl In The Blue Beret,
I was so glad I judged that cover...
It is the story of a recently widowed American pilot, Marshal Stone, who is forced into mandatory retirement at the age of sixty and wondering what to do with the rest of his life. He is the same man, who as a young bomber pilot crash landed in 1944, on a mission over German occupied France.
Inspired by the experiences of her father-in-law, Mason tells a tale of war, love and survival in "The Girl in the Blue Beret" that alternates perfectly between World War II and modern Europe.
To the surprise of Marshall’s friends and family, he picks up and moves to Paris, intent on finding the ordinary people who hid him and led him safely out of France during the war after his B-17 crashed. Through his eyes, we meet members of the French Resistance who sacrificed greatly and often risked their lives to help downed airmen. We also learn about a cocksure young man slow to realize the high price of war to those who lived through it.
Mason's writing is exquisite. Not a single word is wasted or out of place, and she never drifts toward sentimentality — even in her descriptions of combat and the wreckage left behind. Her extensive knowledge of aircraft, combat and World War II is readily apparent, but isn't heavy-handed. Perhaps most impressive, though, is her ability to experience the world through a no-longer-middle-aged widower.
Filled with mystery, guilt and self doubt, courage, and romance, this book has it all. It shows people growing and changing, sometimes but not always for the better. How some stood up with courage under terrible circumstances. Not just another book about World War II, it will be the "quest" story you will never forget. I highly recommend it.

8 comments:

Loree Huebner said...

Sounds like a good book. Going on my "to read" list.

Carol said...

Definitely adding tis to my MUST READ list. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us.

Lynne at Hasty Brook said...

I just downloaded it. Thanks!

DJan said...

Sounds good, it sounds like just my cup of tea. I just got back from the bookstore with four new ones to read, but this one will go on my list. Thanks!

Retired English Teacher said...

Sounds like one I would really like. I have just put it on my list. Thanks!

Arkansas Patti said...

The cover would have roped me in also. Sounds like my kind of book and it is on my TBR list. Thanks

NCmountainwoman said...

You have not steered me wrong so far. This book will definitely be on my "to read" list. Thanks.

Kate/High Altitude Gardening said...

I'm adding it to my winter reading list! Sounds like a goodie.