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The Last Day of the Warby Judith Claire Mitchell
Synopses & Reviews
This exciting debut novel is the love story of a Jewish girl and an Armenian-American soldier who together enter a maze of underground politics at the conclusion of the First World War.
Yael Weiss, an eighteen-year-old from St. Louis, reinvents herself as the twenty-five-year-old Methodist Yale White when she travels to Paris with the YMCA to work in a soldiers’ canteen. Dub Hagopian–the doughboy she has a carried a torch for all the way across the Atlantic–is at once the patriotic child of immigrants from Rhode Island and, covertly, a member of Erinyes, an organization dedicated to avenging the Armenian massacres of 1915.
In her jaunty, engaging style, Mitchell captures the atmosphere of political carnival surrounding the Paris Peace Conference, where Yale, Dub, and their crowd gather, bursting with both the passionate ideals and the devil-may-care energy of youth. When they decamp to a château outside Paris, where Erinyes is hatching a radical plan and Armenian war orphans are billeted, Yale and Dub will face the largest decisions of their young lives.
A beautiful love story, The Last Day of the War is also a tragicomic farce about the workings of history and a testament to the moral fortitude of men and women swept up in the tide of their extraordinary times.
From the Hardcover edition.
Traveling to Paris at the end of World War I, Yael, a Jewish teen passing herself as an older Methodist, and Dub, a covert member of the vengeful Erinyes organization, are caught up in the political carnival surrounding the Paris Peace Conference and a morally challenging secret plot. Reader's Guide available. Reprint. 10,000 first printing.
Yael Weiss, eighteen years old and looking for adventure, finds it in the library one day when she discovers a packet of guns meant for Erinyes, an Armenian organization set on avenging their people’s massacre by the Turks in 1915. While the weapons make her nervous, Dub Hagopian, the young Armenian-American soldier sent to retrieve them, excites her in a completely different way.
Smitten, Yael impulsively follows Dub to France by volunteering with the YMCA, reinventing herself along the way as twenty-five-year-old Methodist Yale White. When she and Dub cross paths again, Yael gets caught up in a crowd bursting with both the passionate ideals and the devil-may-care energy of youth–with consequences neither of them could ever foresee.
About the Author
Judith Claire Mitchell is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and a recipient of a James Michener/Copernicus Society of America Fellowship. She was a James C. McCreight Fellow at the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing and currently teaches creative writing at the University of Wisconsin. She lives in Madison. Her Web site is www.judithclairemitchell.com.
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