• gmontcombroux

My WWII novel, The Tears, Book One of All the Silences

It isn't only my characters that shed tears. Too many memories flooded my brain while I was writing. The nightmares, which too me so long to put at the farthest recess of my consciousness, came back. It took me some time to get them under control and now that the first book is finished, they are leaving me in peace.

This cover photo was taken during a more orderly part of the Exode than the one I describe in the book.

If you wonder about the child in the road, it is me. The novel:

Tears flowed when the German army marched into France, especially into Paris. The de Montregard family is torn apart by death and misplaced loyalties, from being well off to having to find work and struggle to find food to survive.

Julie was a happy young mother until tragedy struck. She digs deep inside to find the resilience not only to go on but to act. Her husband Sylvain has fled to England to continue the fight. Bernard, her brother-in-law, begins to consolidate an escape line for soldiers and downed airmen. Julie’s work for the Red Cross, reuniting separated children and parents, allows her to save some Jewish children, and in between lead an escapee to the non-occupied zone.

Life becomes difficult for her when Kurt Meinhard reappears in her life. They were both students in Heidelberg, Germany, and in love, until she broke it off due to his Nazi affiliation. He is now a high ranking SS officer

Gontrand, the de Montrand patriarch and a veteran of WWI is an ardent admirer of Marshal Pétain, the head of the Vichy state, while his wife Bérangère supports General de Gaulle and the Résistance.

Slowly, friends and family find their places in a web of secrecy and deceit. As the occupying Germans tighten their grip and begin to show a different image than being correct, the habitants of Paris also tighten their resolve.

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