10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
A War made real,
This review is from: A Foreign Field: A True Story of Love and Betrayal in the Great War (Hardcover)
I bought this book for the 2nd time and received it yesterday. Around midnight last night, it was finished. I'm not sure that more needs to be said to describe the compelling true story contained within its pages; it's a well written, well researched and touching account of the horrors of the Great War described through the lives of a handful of people (both french peasants and trapped british soldiers) and will capture the reader from page 1.
Whilst the facts behind the story can only be sketchy the author has painstaking researched his brief and fleshed out this little known cameo into a genuinely interesting and emotionally involving story. Little is actually known about many of the main protagonists, in itself a sobering reminder of just what destruction occurred between 1914 and 1918 and Mr MacIntyre deserves much credit for painting such a vivid picture with such little material.
To be critical I felt that perhaps more could have been said about the relationship between Robert Digby and Claire Dessenne but with so much doubt I guess the author deserves some credit for staying within the boundaries of what material he had and not flying off into romantic conjecture. Written as a novel or portrayed in film this could be quite some story however so it's maybe a shame that this wasn't considered when writing.
Can I also recommend that anyone with the means and time to visit the graves of the 4 soldiers do what I did some years ago and make the effort. An already goose bump enducing story is made even more so looking at the stones at the back of a small churchyard in rural france. The carnage of World War I is sometimes hard to take in when such huge casualty numbers and enormous graveyards are considered. The Menin Gate at Ypres alone has the names of over 50,000 men killed and never found inscribed on it. Perhaps this small and hard to find row, with the lives of those carved known more personally because of this book, brings the true horrors of the Great War into a sharper focus than anything.