Love and War in the Pyrenees : A Story of Courage, Fear and Hope, 1939-1944 Paperback
A vivid blend of history and travel and a sweeping story of collaboration and resistance, fear and heroism, pacifism and sacrifice all set against the backdrop of the Pyrenees. Over the fifteen years Rosemary has been living in the region, the more she realised she didn't know about the war; about the French during the Occupation, the real role of the Resistance, the level of collaboration, the concentration camps in the Pyrenees and the treatment of Jews and other refugees.
It is still very much a veiled history and most of the archives remain firmly closed. LOVE AND WAR IN THE PYRENEES is a portrait of human tragedy, heroism and cruelty that will create a picture of the period from a contemporary angle, the history linked to sights that can still be visited, and brought to life by letters, interviews and encounters with people today, including the historians currently trying to investigate what really happened.
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 352 pages, maps
- Publisher: Orion Publishing Co
- Publication Date: 14/02/2009
- Category: European history
- ISBN: 9780753825914
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Review by juliette07
The second world war roadside grave stone has always fascinated me. All the more so as the Pyrenean setting is one in which it is extremely difficult to park the car and explore. The French road, which I know so well follows the River Aude through a limestone gorge North of Couiza and South of Limoux. The grave is a poignant landmark as I learnt from a local newspaper following the annual memorial service and laying of wreaths. It was this memorial which led me to obtain this book written by a local author who has unearthed letters, articles and gleaned information from locals. She has thoroughly researched life in this area during the 1939-1944 period; one in which many difficult events took place. We learn of lives disrupted, lost and changed for ever, great movements of people and injustices against innocents. I was highly motivated to read this book yet found it a frustratingly slow read. It was a bringing together of a body of pieces of research linked through the time and setting but to me, lacked a sense of continuity. In essence I was 'loyal' to the book because of my love of this region and my desire to learn more. Overall, a slightly disappointing three star read.