Written with a comparable passion, power and breadth of vision, Charlotte Gray is Sebastian Faulks’s first novel since Birdsong.
It is 1942. London is blacked out, but France is under a greater darkness, as the Vichy régime clings ever closer to the Nazi occupier in their danse macabre.
From Edinburgh, Charlotte Gray, a volatile but determined young woman, travels south. In London she conceives a dangerous passion for an English airman. Charlotte goes to France on an errand for a British organisation helping the Resistance and for her own private purposes. Unknown to her, she is also being manipulated by people with no regard for her safety. As the weeks go by Charlotte finds that the struggle for France’s soul is intimately linked to her battle to take control of her own life.
Charlotte Gray examines the lost domains of the past, the limits of memory and the redemptive power of art. It is also a brilliant evocation of life in Occupied France, filled with memorable characters, such as Julien Levade, the local resistance leader, and his father, a painter and reformed libertine.
As the people in the village of Lavaurette prepare to meet their terrible destiny, the truth of what took place in ‘the dark years’ is finally revealed. These harrowing scenes are presented with the passion and narrative power that readers will recall from Birdsong.
Softcover, 393 pages. In good to very good pre-loved condition.