The Lives of Stella Bain, Paperback Book
2.5 out of 5 (1 rating)


Hauled in a cart to a field hospital in northern France in March 1916, an American woman wakes from unconsciousness to the smell of gas gangrene, the sounds of men in pain, and an almost complete loss of memory: she knows only that she can drive an ambulance, she can draw, and her name is Stella Bain.

A stateless woman in a lawless country, Stella embarks on a journey to reconstruct her life.

Suffering an agonising and inexplicable array of symptoms, she finds her way to London.

There, Dr August Bridge, a cranial surgeon turned psychologist, is drawn to tracking her amnesia to its source.

What brutality was she fleeing when she left the tranquil seclusion of a New England college campus to serve on the Front; for what crime did she need to atone - and whom did she leave behind?

Vivid, intense and gripping, packed with secrets and revelations, The Lives of Stella Bain is at once a ravishing love story and an intense psychological mystery.


Other Formats



Free Home Delivery

on all orders

Pick up orders

from local bookshops


Showing 1 - 1 of 1 reviews.

Review by

Did not think much of the story, did not like the complete change of tone after she gains her memory back. I suppose it was there to show the reader the scale and the importance of the change, but it did not work, because the character herself did not seem out of control at any point, did not seem suffering even when she complained. Her emotions were sketched and in her words only, she remained detached throughout the book. The end represented yet another change and somehow seemed to imply we have a disturbed person there, instead of the picture of happiness that was in the words.

Also by Anita Shreve   |  View all