From this conflagration, The Good Lieutenant unspools backward in time as Fowler and her platoon are guided into disaster by suspicious informants and questionable intelligence, their very mission the result of a previous snafu in which a soldier had been kidnapped by insurgents. And then even further back, before things began to go so wrong, we see the backstory unfold from points of view that usually are not shown in war coverage--a female frontline officer, for one, but also jaded career soldiers and Iraqis both innocent and not so innocent. Ultimately, as all these stories unravel, what is revealed is what happens when good intentions destroy, experience distorts, and survival becomes everything.
Brilliantly told and expertly captured by a terrific writer at the top of his form, Whitney Terrell's The Good Lieutenantis a gripping, insightful, necessary novel about a war that is proving to be the defining tragedy of our time.
Like so many other men, Jim Hickman and Bertie Murphy are plunged into this nightmare. As the war progresses, Jim receives honour after honour, whilst Bertie sinks deep into depression. And back home Polly, the girl they both love, must choose between the two men...that is, if they ever come back alive. As the trio are trapped in physical and mental torment, a terrible tragedy befalls them...
Wilcox perfectly captures the horror and tragedy of the First World War in this vivid and moving novel.
A NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: I grew up in the thirties with the Great War, as it was called, hanging over the heads of me and of my family like some retrospective thundercloud. My father was the youngest boy in a late-Victorian working-class family of fourteen – seven boys and seven girls. All of the boys went off to fight in the trenches, they were all rifle and bayonet men, not support soldiers, and, miraculously, all of them survived.
The reader will understand, then, that the First World War has haunted me, not only as a boy wondering about whether he would have had the courage, like his father and distinguished uncles, to have gone over the top unhesitatingly into the German wire and machine-gun fire, but also as a latter-day novelist, writing about the wars of Empire in the late nineteenth century. I felt unable to write about the Great War earlier for various reasons, but now I am happy to have done so. – JOHN WILCOX
NEW YORK TIMES & USA TODAY BESTSELLER
#1 GLOBE AND MAIL HISTORICAL FICTION BESTSELLER
One of NPR's Best Books of the Year!
One of Bookbub's Biggest Historical Fiction Books of the Year!
Reese Witherspoon Book Club Summer Reading Pick!
The Girly Book Club Book of the Year!
A Summer Book Pick from Good Housekeeping, Parade, Library Journal, Goodreads, Liz and Lisa, and BookBub
In an enthralling new historical novel from national bestselling author Kate Quinn, two women—a female spy recruited to the real-life Alice Network in France during World War I and an unconventional American socialite searching for her cousin in 1947—are brought together in a mesmerizing story of courage and redemption.
1947. In the chaotic aftermath of World War II, American college girl Charlie St. Clair is pregnant, unmarried, and on the verge of being thrown out of her very proper family. She's also nursing a desperate hope that her beloved cousin Rose, who disappeared in Nazi-occupied France during the war, might still be alive. So when Charlie's parents banish her to Europe to have her "little problem" taken care of, Charlie breaks free and heads to London, determined to find out what happened to the cousin she loves like a sister.
1915. A year into the Great War, Eve Gardiner burns to join the fight against the Germans and unexpectedly gets her chance when she's recruited to work as a spy. Sent into enemy-occupied France, she's trained by the mesmerizing Lili, the "Queen of Spies", who manages a vast network of secret agents right under the enemy's nose.
Thirty years later, haunted by the betrayal that ultimately tore apart the Alice Network, Eve spends her days drunk and secluded in her crumbling London house. Until a young American barges in uttering a name Eve hasn't heard in decades, and launches them both on a mission to find the truth...no matter where it leads.
“Both funny and heartbreaking, this epic journey of two courageous women is an unforgettable tale of little-known wartime glory and sacrifice. Quinn knocks it out of the park with this spectacular book!”—Stephanie Dray, New York Times bestselling author of America's First Daughter