Shreve’s 17th novel is a tragic yet hopeful story of love, memory, loss, and rebuilding. A young woman wakes up with amnesia in a battlefield hospital tent in Marne, France, in 1916. She thinks her name is Stella Bain, and she thinks she knows how to nurse and drive an ambulance.... The novel is both tender and harsh, and the only false note is the use of present tense, which prevents the reader from being pulled in more closely. Shreve’s thoughtful, provocative, historical tale has modern resonance.
Shreve is back with a period piece that will keep readers thinking. In the midst of World War I, a woman finds herself lost and alone in London with no idea of who she is or how she got there.... As the story unfolds, Stella does find her identity and the reasons that made her abandon her American family and head off to Europe to help in the war.... [A]n emotional conclusion.... As usual, [Shreve's] plotlines and domestic drama do not disappoint. —Beth Gibbs, Davidson, NC
A woman awakens in a field hospital in Marne, France, in 1916. Fragments of memory surface: She recalls that she was serving near the front as a nurse's aide and ambulance driver before suffering a shrapnel wound and shell shock and that her name is Stella Bain.... Although the novel's structure is somewhat disjointed, and the preliminary amnesiac chapters seem gratuitous in light of the full revelations that follow, the characters are well-drawn and sympathetic. Many surprises are in store. An exemplary addition to Shreve's already impressive oeuvre.
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