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Wounded: A Great War Novel

Wounded: A Great War Novel [Kindle Edition]

Gary Lewis
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

It’s World War One and Snow doesn’t know why he’s there. Then he meets Cozette in a tiny French village and begins to understand. Ninety years late his son George travels to the same village and makes an astonishing discovery.

Northern France, April 1917, the Germans are retreating and the Australian Imperial Force (AIF) is in hot pursuit. Snow’s battalion, the ‘Old Bat’, captures the village of Hermies and a Victoria Cross is won. But the Germans are not retreating, merely consolidating. Exhausted, the battalion is flung back into a bloody, drawn out and ultimately futile battle at Bullecourt.

Depleted and demoralized the unit is rebuilt over summer and then rushed north to join an Allied assault in Belgium. Rain turns the battlefield into a quagmire and the Old Bat is sent for a long rest in Grand Sec Bois, a tiny French village in the heartland of the Flemish nationalist region. Billeted on a farm, Snow meets Cozette Vandenberghe, the daughter of a pro-German nationalist father and a patriotic French mother. A romance develops and the young couple spends a happy summer together.

In autumn the Old Bat leaves again for Belgium and terrible battles at Menin Road, Polygon Wood and Broodseinde Ridge. Only Snow’s love for Cozette and his hopes of seeing her again on leave sustain his will to live through these, the darkest days of war. After his best friend is killed and leave is refused, his morale plunges and his mental condition, deteriorates. Seriously wounded at Passchendaele, he is hospitalized in England and loses contact with Cozette.

The following spring Snow rejoins the Old Bat in northern France. It's a ‘company of ghosts’ now, with most of his comrades, dead, mad or wounded. Rushing to meet head off a last-ditch German assault before the Americans arrive, the Old Bat passes French refugees and Snow and Cozette meet briefly. The Germans are halted, citizens begin returning to their homes and the lovers are reunited for one last time.

The story cuts to Sydney in 1999. Snow’s son, George, finds a manuscript, written by his long deceased father relating his war experience and a letter, addressed to him:

"My darling son, George

The first thing I’m going to tell you is that I’m not going to tell you everything. There are things a father need not, should not, divulge to a son as you will know if you are fortunate enough to have a family of your own when you read this; things that have happened in our lives as men, too horrible or intimate for anyone else to know.

There are things I did in the Great War and things which happened to me, of which I cannot speak to your mother or anyone else other than a few weeping Diggers on Anzac Day.

My darling boy, after your mother and I have gone, I pray you read my story, which I begin on this day of your birth, and understand the miracle it is that we both exist, how much I love you and hope you will always remember me … lest we forget."

A decade later George travels to Grand Sec Bois to find out more about Cozette Vandenberghe, his war hero, to whom he believes he owes his own life by inspiring his father to go on living. He is astonished by what he finds. A touching resolution brings the book to a satisfying conclusion.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2261 KB
  • Print Length: 219 pages
  • Publisher: BookBaby; 1 edition (15 Dec 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #28,466 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wounded 9 Dec 2013
By penno
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What a story ....ripper!! Places just previously names from the Great War came alive excellent read (reminder) of what should never be forgotten.....thank you Gary.
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5.0 out of 5 stars An Australian soldiers tale 10 Jun 2014
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One soldiers true and well written account of the War and the French woman he fell in love with amongst the death and destruction. The descriptions mirror others that I have read regarding the losses and horrors of war. The incredible waste of life and stupidity of some of the Officers, and the bravery and endurance of all soldiers, regardless of allegiance never fails to amaze or move me.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Living inn fear!! 22 May 2014
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I cried for Snow,and I cried for both of my grandfather's who suffered at the same places of France and Belgium,as close to the knuckle you can get!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent 23 April 2014
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Reading through this book it is sometimes difficult to believe it is fiction and not fact. It is extremely vivid in its descriptions of the battlefield action its characters are plunged into and is obviously the product of intense research, including the memories of some of those directly involved who, somehow, managed to come through it all alive, but who, at the same time were scarred forever by what they had seen and experienced. Snow, Collin and many others are obviously based on real men and could not be the pure product of an author's mind or even general research. This makes the book so real and at the same time leaves the reader asking the same questions as Snow and his Digger mates..... why?
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Different Perspective 8 April 2014
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I thought this book was excellent, well written and with a fascinating twist at the end. (Don't be tempted to read the end first!). A vivid, sometimes overly graphic, account of WW1 from an Australian perspective begs the question - why did young lads from the Empire (as it was called then) come to Europe to fight a war that was absolutely nothing to do with them? Adventure? Romantic attachment to the mother country? Whatever, they did come, and the allies wouldn't have prevailed without them. Many of then must have bitterly regretted volunteering, but the only bitterness Snow showed was his contempt for the generals of all nations who made crass decisions resulting in the waste of tens of thousands of young lives. There is a romantic story here too, amidst the slaughter, very touchingly told.
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4.0 out of 5 stars very touching 5 April 2014
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This book brings home to an ignorant generatio , Nthe horrors of the trenches and the damage it did to young men,s minds. No councilling l and post traumatic stress then.
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