Motherland: Book summary and reviews of Motherland by William Nicholson

Motherland
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  • Published in USA  Apr 2013,
    464 pages.

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Book Summary

Summer, 1942. Kitty, an army driver stationed in Sussex, meets Ed, a Royal Marine commando, and Larry, a liaison officer with Combined Ops. She falls instantly in love with Ed, who falls in love with her. So does Larry. Both men go off to war, and Ed wins the highest military honor for his bravery. But sometimes heroes don't make the best husbands.

Motherland follows Kitty, Ed, and Larry from wartime England and the brutally tragic Dieppe raid to Nazi-occupied France, India after the war, and Jamaica before independence. Against this ever-changing backdrop - as they witness history being made and participate in the smaller dramas of romance, friendship, and parenthood - these three friends make choices that will determine the challenges and triumphs of their lives. But the insistent current running through all they experience is the unacknowledged tension of the love triangle that binds them together and must somehow be resolved.

Written by an award-winning screenwriter whose novels have earned extraordinary critical praise, Motherland is a compelling, page-turning narrative brimming with stunning war scenes, pageantry, politics, and questions about faith and art, as well as quiet, intimate moments of passion, doubt, and longing. Above all, it is a great love story about three people struggling to find happiness and meaning amid war and its aftermath.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Depictions of postwar France, pre-independence India, and battlefield chaos add scope to Nicholson's ruminations on love, faith, decency, the choices ordinary people make, and how they cope with the consequences." - Publishers Weekly

"A sweeping historical epic...won't disappoint fans of classic Hollywood-style storytelling that grapples with life's big-ticket issues...infused with realistic dialogue and fastidious attention to historical detail... will make true romantics swoon." - Booklist

"Starred Review. Nicholson pays careful attention to historical details. He develops central characters that stir our emotions and keep us engaged...." - Library Journal

"A wartime love story in the tradition of Atonement ...affecting." - Kirkus

"Intelligently scrumptious." - The Daily Mail (UK)

"Nicholson manages not to write a single clichéd sentence…extremely powerful." - The Spectator (UK)

"Masterful, engaging and romantic...his forte is in describing the nuances and complications of relationships and this talent really shines in Motherland. His simple, intense style...is one to get lost in." - Red Online

"A profound and moving novel; tender and compassionate...there is always, in Nicholson and his characters, however desperate and lost, the small fierce spark of humanity. His great triumph is in creating a love triangle in which we, as much as the characters themselves, can see no resolution, because it is unbearable to imagine any of them hurt." - The Guardian

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Author Information

William Nicholson Author Biography

William Nicholson was born in 1948, and grew up in Sussex and Gloucestershire. He was educated at Downside School and Christ's College, Cambridge, and then joined BBC Television, where he worked as a documentary film maker. There his ambition to write, directed first into novels, was channeled into television drama. His plays for television include Shadowlands and Life Story, both of which won the BAFTA Best Television Drama award in their year; other award-winners were Sweet As You Are and The March. In 1988 he received the Royal Television Society's Writer's Award. His first play, an adaptation of Shadowlands for the stage, was Evening Standard Best Play of 1990, and went on to a Tony-award winning run on Broadway. He was nominated for an Oscar for the screenplay of ...

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Name Pronunciation
William Nicholson: WILyam NICKle-sn

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