“These days, Paris was a woman screaming.” (p.447)
This quote is it for me. All of the women left behind in the towns, the protectors, scrounging for food, turning on each other, lying to save lives, going hungry, going mad. Will they have peace?
What kind of peace does the end of war really bring? Is it momentary peace knowing that the worst is over? Is there no longer hunger or madness? Are people able to go back to their former lives as if they hadn’t lived through hell? Perhaps instead there is active war and passive war. When the fighting ends, the passivity begins: the lonely beds, scarred bodies, the failing farms, the bombed schools and the lost souls who never return to their God.
It is in the rebuilding that there can be peace. Rebuilding houses and churches, schools and libraries. Rebuilding relationships. And that is what Vianne is beginning to do by telling her story. Julien is her story. France is her history.
5 out of 5 book stacks!