Annie Smith, January 2, 2012 (view all comments by Annie Smith)
This is one of the best researched novels about the successes of the Resistance to help downed Allied airmen escape Nazi occupied Europe during World War II that I have ever read.
AKelly, January 1, 2012 (view all comments by AKelly)
The "search" theme in this story was compelling... I found myself fascinated by the details of a fairly hidden era in WWII Europe: I cared about the people and how their lives played out as well as the main character and his own inner journey.
annielaurasmith, September 1, 2011 (view all comments by annielaurasmith)
This ficionalized account of life in occupied Europe during World War II brings a realistic historical perspective to the story since the author based the story on her father-in-law's experiences as a downed Allied airman.She also interviewed members of the Resistance who helped him to escape German capture.
Random House -
"Publishers Weekly Review"
by Publishers Weekly,
"Mason (In Country) is back with a touching novel about love, loss, war, and memory. Shot down over France during WWII, Marshall Stone takes the controls and lands the plane, helping as many of his surviving airmen to safety as he can. He's saved by the French Resistance and ferried from one safe house to the next until he reaches the U.K. In 1980, after being forced into retirement, he returns to the crash site and vows to find those who helped him. Two in particular stand out in his mind: Robert, the dashing young man who helped plan his escape, and Annette, a school girl who lived in one of the safe houses. Moving between the present and the events he revisits, the novel descends deeper and deeper into memory, profoundly revealing how the past haunts the present. Stone learns that Robert and Annette were both punished for the roles they played in the war, and that memory serves us all differently, saving one while destroying another. Mason's latest, based on the real-life experiences of her father-in-law, is fascinating and intensely intimate. (June)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"An emotionally powerful story."
by Library Journal,
"[A] haunting novel [with] rich setting, detail, and intimate character nuances . . . for fans of the award-winning author, World War II fiction, and novels with French settings. Highly recommended."
by Associated Press,
"The new novel from best-selling author Bobbie Ann Mason will send you dashing to the shelves to devour everything else she's ever written — it's that good....Mason weaves a spellbinding tale of war, love and survival....The Girl in the Blue Beret is not only a remarkable work of historical fiction, it's also storytelling at its best."
by Kim Edwards, author of The Memory Keeper's Daughter and The Lake of Dreams,
"A flight through the gripping, war-ravaged past and the discovery of love — Bobbie Ann Mason's moving novel is written with great clarity and insight."
by USA Today,
"Ushering her readers back and forth across the decades, she perfectly weaves history with fiction. In many ways the book is a tribute to these unsung civilians whose heroism often was never acknowledged by those they helped. [A] near-perfect war story."
by Washington Post,
"Mason has long been considered one of the finest writers of regional fiction — Kentucky is her home and inspiration — but her affecting new novel takes place in France, and she's just as comfortable and insightful there...once again, Mason has plumbed the moral dimensions of national conflict in the lives of individual participants and produced a deeply moving, relevant novel."
by New York Times Book Review,
"Mason has given us a portrait of a man from a generation whose members were uncertain about the protocols of letting oneself feel. And she has lovingly captured the tone of bluff assertion still shared by veterans of that war. Marshall's banality has the ring of truth; his awkwardness reveals much....The Girl in the Blue Beret is a work of remarkable empathy."
by Good Housekeeping,
"To Curl Up with: A pilot shot down over France returns years later to search for the jeunne fille who rescued him. Mason's lovely tale, drawn from her [father-in-law's] wartime experience, will resonate for many."
by Historical Novels Review,
"The Girl in the Blue Beret is an impressive novel. Mason writes with confidence about integrity, memory, love, the war in Europe — and a likeable man....Recommended for all historical fiction readers."
by Miami Herald,
"[An] impressive, impassioned new novel. The unforgettable story, based on the author's father-in-law's wartime experiences, is a gripping tale of redemption."
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