The Gifts of War brings readers into the vivid landscape of World War I while combining the drama of military intelligence with elements of romance and secrecy.
During the Christmas Truce of 1914, a German gives a British soldier a photo and they make a pact. Hal, the British soldier, promises to find his enemys English girlfriend, Sam, and let her know her fiancé is alive and thinking of her. Several weeks later, Halnow injuredis discharged from the army and fulfills his promise. But things take an unexpected turn when he meets the woman in the photo and falls in love with her himself. As their romance blossoms, Sam shares with Hal her most private confidence: her newborn son is of German lineage, information that threatens her reputation and job as a schoolteacher. Fearful that he will lose Sam, Hal holds tight to the secretand the photographthat brought them together.
Mackenzie Ford sets the story of Hal and Sam's love affair against the broader landscape of England at war, and brilliantly captures the era and the fates of men and women caught in the sweep of history. A vivid tale of romance, adventure, and intrigue, Gifts of War is a remarkable narrative that explores what made War World I so tragic, so revolutionary, and so exciting.
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"Starred Review. Highly recommended for readers of historical fiction as well as those who enjoy tales of espionage." - Library Journal
"[A] a fine work of fiction - faithful to historical fact and romantic to its core ... Give it to fans of Susan Isaacs' Shining Through or Michael Ondaatje's The English Patient, among others." - Booklist
"Stiff-upper-lip storytelling redeemed by flashes of feeling and a welter of period detail." - Kirkus Reviews
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Mackenzie Ford is the nom de plume of a well-known historian whose books are published in seventeen languages. His writing has appeared in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the London Times, the Observer, the Spectator and the Sunday Times. He was for ten years a research associate at the Macdonald Institute for Archaeological Research at the University of Cambridge, during which time he wrote a book that was voted by Time magazine as one of the ten best books of 2006.
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