Why I picked it: I saw this novel listed on Ti’s (Book Chatter) book club list as an upcoming selection. Her book club tends to read books that are much deeper/more serious than my book club so I was pleased to find a title that sounded interesting to me.
Synopsis: Set during and after the First World War, A Very Long Engagement tells the story of a young woman’s search for her fiancé, whom she believes might still be alive despite having officially been reported as “killed in the line of duty.” Unable to walk since childhood, fearless Mathilde Donnay is undeterred in her quest as she scours the country for information about five wounded French soldiers who were brutally abandoned by their own troops. A Very Long Engagement is a mystery, a love story, and an extraordinary portrait of life in France before and after the War.
Type: Historical Fiction
Quick Take: A beautifully written story worth reading… just know that you will read the tale of a soldier’s last day about twenty times (letters from different soldiers).
I learned quite a bit while reading this book… how hard life was for families of the soldiers, the involvement of the French in WWI and the cruelty towards soldiers by their own countrymen. At the core of this story is a woman who is desperate to find out what happened to her fiance. She’s been told he’s dead and sets out to discover exactly what happened to him. She receives letters from men who claim to have witnessed the event, taking her on several journeys throughout the novel in hopes to discover what really happened. This book is worth reading if you like historical fiction. I didn’t see the ending coming, which is always a welcome surprise.
Rating: 4/5 stars
Source: Audio (Library)
Challenge: Teresa’s Audiobook Challenge
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