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Tuesday, 26 October 2010
War On The Margins
By Libby Cone
This is a very unusual book. Based on Libby Cone’s MA thesis, it is a fictionalised account of some of the real events that took place on Jersey during the Second World War.
The story is interspersed with original documents from the time, which add depth to the narrative and increase the chilling sense of reality that runs through it. Most people will be aware of the treatment of the Jewish population of Jersey during the Nazi occupation, but this account brings it vividly to life.
The counterpoint to the part of the narrative that deals with occupation and war, is the telling of some very different love stories. A shy young woman desperately trying to hide her partly Jewish heritage and an escaped prisoner; two women working for the resistance; an elderly Jewish woman and her infirm husband. All of their stories show how love can triumph even in the squalor and terror of war and the brutality of the Nazi regime.
The real life story of the artists and resistance workers Claude Cahun and Marcel Moore is cleverly woven into the story and adds a new dimension. Their story is fascinating.
I do recommend this book to anyone who is interested in this period and wants to read a very human account of it. I was gripped by the story throughout.
Reviewed by Helen M Hunt