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Customer Review

on 12 February 2011
I wanted to love this book - the idea of a female war correspondent was interesting, covering a subject that was new. However, I felt the research was not adequate for the European section, and that the plot had a lot of holes, mainly because many of the characters behaved irrationally. The logic was not helped by what I now assume is a printing error in the book - I think the section dated Winter 1941 should have been Winter 1940.

A war correspondent could not have taken a ferry from England to France in 1941 - Britain was totally cut off, and the only link was by bomber (and not American Douglas bombers as mentioned!). An American could also not have run down to the London docks on the spur of the moment to get a boat to America - the seas were a battleground, and she probably would have has a long wait to get a boat travelling in convoy from Liverpool. Incidentally, there were no 'keep calm and carry on' posters in Britain - that famous poster was a design that was never used, as it was felt to be insulting, as people in Britain were already keeping calm and carrying on. Also, the British posters said `careless talk costs lives' - not `loose lips sink ships'. It made me wonder about the other facts - I doubt if even a neutral American could easily have moved around Europe on trains, and surely most refugee movement in Europe took place in 1939-1940. If you hadn't got out by then, it was too late.

As far as people behaving irrationally - if my husband in a war zone had not been in touch for months, I would have been on to the authorities to make inquiries, not just hoped a letter would turn up eventually. And if I were a landlady to a person in a battle zone who went missing, I would inform the authorities, and have them investigate, not just merrily write to tell a wife that he hadn't come home. And the letter at the heart of the story? It just didn't matter. It changed nothing.

All in all, the novel is an interesting idea that didn't fulfil its promise
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