The Silent Hours by Cesca Major
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
An epic, sweeping tale set in wartime France, The Silent Hours follows three people whose lives are bound together, before war tears them apart:
Adeline, a mute who takes refuge in a convent, haunted by memories of her past;
Sebastian, a young Jewish banker whose love for the beautiful Isabelle will change the course of his life dramatically;
Tristin, a nine-year-old boy, whose family moves from Paris to settle in a village that is seemingly untouched by war.
Beautifully wrought, utterly compelling and with a shocking true story at its core, The Silent Hours is an unforgettable portrayal of love and loss.
Based on a true story and set in war torn France this story is told through multiple viewpoints. Beginning in the 1950's it follows three people whose lives are bound together ; Adeline a mute who has taken refuge in a convent; Sebastian a Jewish banker who is desperately in love with Isabelle, and Tristan a nine year old boy who moves to the country from Paris and who can't understand why some of his classmates disappear. All these characters have through one reason or another found themselves in the small village of Oradour-sur-Glane in south west France.
Isabelle is waiting for her brother Paul to come home from the war and they write letters to each other while he is held prisoner when he is captured. She meets the young Sebastian and they fall in love. Tristan and his family also flee Paris to the relative safety of this small village and this is where he learns the horrors of war and finally grows up. The skillful writing uncovers the dreadful tragedies and hardships that this small village suffered during the war years and the knowledge that 642 men, women and children were massacred by Nazi soldiers really did happen leaves a lasting impact on the reader.
A powerful and moving account of a historical event bought back to life with vivid descriptions and often hard to read accounts of brutality at the hands of the Nazis. Has to have 5 stars
I would like to thank the publisher for sending this in exchange for an honest review.