To My Daughter In France Paperback – 7 Aug 2003
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"Full of intrigue, love, passion and anger" (Irish Independent)
"A singular literary event - a cosmopolitan novel" (Observer)
"Stiff upper lips are melted by passion in this story of wartime valour and present day curiosity" (Irish Tatler)
'And to my daughter in France I bequeath the remainder of my Estate.' These words, read from the will of Irish academic Richard Kirwan, come as a complete surprise to his grieving family. Solange de Valnay's perfectly ordered world is shattered when she discovers the identity of her true father for the first time. She loves the man who has always been 'Papa' and the Languedoc vineyard in which she had the happiest of childhoods; Celine, her adored mother, is dead. But the truth of Richard Kirwan's liaison with her mother cannot remain buried, and the Kirwan children and their half-sister must overcome their differences and confront the past that unites them. What emerges is an extraordinary tale of an impossible but irresistible love affair, of passion and blind heroism, of sacrifices made for love and honour and of four families whose resistance to the German forces occupying France during the Second World War binds them across borders and cultures and through war and peace.See all Product description
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From the opening sentence, this book has you gripped. Just imagine; at the reading of your father's will, you suddenly find out that you have a half sister in France that you have never heard about before. What would you do?
The reaction of the main character is, naturally, to contact her and to find out more; however the reaction from the other side is less open. It raises all sorts of questions and worries for Solange. Does the man that she has always thought of as her father know the whole story? Does he know what has happened?
The book then takes us on to discover more about the lives of both families. We find out about their lives in wartime France and the work of the resistance. The characters grow, becoming more rounded; and I found myself empathising with characters that I never thought I would relate to at the beginning of the book. (These particular authors are incredibly skilled at this - it has happened to me in all three of their books!)
This is an extremely well written book. Like the others that this pair of sisters have written, there is no clear point at which you feel the writer has changed; and yet it is a collaborative work.
Try it. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!
A thoroughly compelling book, unusual in that it is written by two sisters which gives it an intriguing style. Well worth a read.
But it has made me so sad. I don't think I've cried so much over a book for years.
But, do read it. It's a very absorbing story about a time in history that we should all know about and I loved the characters and the way it was written.