Tuesday, 1 May 2007

One to read and one to listen to

Finished May 1st
April in Paris by Michael Wallner
Roth is twenty-one, a German soldier in occupied Paris doing translations in the back offices. He is suddenly transferred to the SS office, translating for interrogations. Roth finds himself drawn more and more to the French whose language he speaks so well. He takes a chance and finds an empty building where he can change into civilian clothes, and wander the streets as a Frenchman instead of an occupying soldier. He calls himself Antoine, stops at cafes and buys items in shops. One day he sees a young French woman outside a bookstore and becomes drawn to her. When he finds that due to his work in the interrogation room he knows that Chantal's friends are in danger he warns them, but not all escape. When a bomb goes off in a nightclub used by the Germans, he comes under suspicion and is interrogated himself. All that keeps him going are thoughts of Chantal. The drama is high and the writing well done. I really enjoyed this one.

Every Mother's Son by Lyn Andrews, read by Julie Maisey
This story takes place in Liverpool, where Molly Keegan and Bernie O'Sullivan, originally from Ireland, now live. The story takes us through Molly's wedding to Joe, a policeman, for which she has to give up her business of making soft furnishings. Bernie is courted by their landlady's son Bertie, a seaman. As the Second World War begins and the young people find themselves caught up in the bombings of Liverpool and the effect this has on their families, they take comfort in their lifelong friendship and find the strength to keep going. The story contains tragedy and happiness and great detail of the daily life in Liverpool during this time as well as life in Irish countryside where the girl's parents still live. I found it quite true to the time and enjoyable.

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