The Fires of Autumn

The Fires of Autumn

Book - 2014
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Story follows the fortunes of several families, whose lives interweave from 1912, through the years of the First World War, the decadence of the 1920s, the deprivations of the 1930s, and onwards until the fall of France in the early part of the Second World War. Opening in Paris, a couple of years before the outbreak of WWI, we meet the Brun family: the widowed Aldolphe; his mother-in-law, Madame Pain; his pretty daughter, Therese; and Martial Brun, who is cousin to Therese. We also meet the Jacquelaine family: Monsieur and Madame Jacquelaine and their son, Bernard; and in addition to the main cast, we become acquainted with Martial's friend, Raymond Detang, and the widowed Madame Humbert and her daughter, the lovely Renee. At the outset of the story, our cast of characters seem to lead a peaceful, comfortable and very domestic existence, enjoying their family meals and their Sunday walks together in the park, whilst Martial, who is training to become a doctor, makes plans to win the affections of his cousin, Therese, and make her his wife. However, when Europe enters the First World War, Bernard, at barely eighteen, signs up immediately and goes off to fight in what he thinks will be a glorious war and one that will be won by the allies within a few months, but he soon has his eyes opened in the mud and mire of the trenches. And Martial, who could have escaped the worst of the conflict,volunteers to care for the wounded at the front line and has to face the traumas of those who are horrifically injured by bullets, bayonets and bombs. When the war finally comes to an end, no one will escape unscarred by their experiences, especially Bernard whose ideas of patriotism and glory are replaced with cynicism and a desire to get what he can out of life. For ten years he lives the good bourgeois life, but as another war threatens, everything Bernard had clung to starts to crumble, and the future for his marriage and for France looks terribly uncertain.
Publisher: London : Chatto & Windus, ©2014
ISBN: 9780701186593
Branch Call Number: NEMIROV
Characteristics: ix, 229 pages ; 24 cm
Additional Contributors: Smith, Sandra 1949-


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