MADELEINE’S WAR, by Peter Watson, is one of those books I could not wait to get my greedy little hands on. I contacted the people at Nan A. Talese begging for a review copy long before any were available. And why was I so wild to read this novel, you might ask? A few years ago I was browsing the stacks in my favorite bookstore in NYC, The Strand. I was deep in the basement when I made a monumental discovery. This amazing bookstore has review copies of books on their shelves. Not upstairs, but downstairs. Hidden away. Some of them were even finished copies. I came across a copy of a book called THE CLOUDS BENEATH THE SUN, by Mckenzie Ford. I snatched it up and practically ran up the stairs to purchase it before someone told me I could not buy it. It was a beautiful finished copy. Half the price of what it would be once published. And it was not published yet. A big saga of Africa.
Now on to MADELEINE’S WAR. Ford is actually Watson. Disguised. The story is told entirely in the voice of Matthew Hammond, a former British military officer in WW11 who lost a lung while on the front lines. Now he’s unable to fight but is able to train new resistance fighters: both men and women. He’s lost one lover tragically already. And now he’s training Madeleine to go behind the scenes and parachute into the French interior; an act to distract from the Normandy invasion. Of course military personnel are not supposed to fall in love. However, it’s wartime, and this happens quite often.
Who is Madeleine? She’s a French-Canadian beauty who’s decided to fight for freedom. She feels she’s got nothing to loose at this point and is a perfect candidate for just this sort of resistance. But she did not plan on falling in love…
Watson’s attention to detail comes from his infinite research on the matter at hand. He’s a spot-on historian who’s done his homework and then some. He’s managed to capture our attention and keep it with the promise of romance and drama. His story keeps getting better. And the climax and ending are surprising.
I have two copies of MADELEINE’S WAR, by Peter Watson, for giveaway, compliments of the generous people at Nan Talese. Please leave a comment below. As usual, I can not send to P.O. boxes, and only U.S. addresses, please. Good luck! I will choose my two winners on Tuesday, May 26.