From a hardscrabble village in Nova Scotia to the collapsing trenches of France, a debut novel about a family divided by World War I. In the tradition of Robert Goolrick's A Reliable Wife and Karl Marlantes's Matterhorn, P. S. Duffy's astonishing debut showcases a rare and instinctive talent emerging in midlife. Her novel leaps across the Atlantic, between a father at war and a son coming of age at home without him.
When his beloved brother-in-law goes missing at the front in 1916, Angus defies his pacifist upbringing to join the war and find him. Assured a position as a cartographer in London, he is instead sent directly into the visceral shock of battle. Meanwhile, at home, his son, Simon Peter, must navigate escalating hostility in a fishing village torn by grief.
With the intimacy of The Song of Achilles and the epic scope of The Invisible Bridge, The Cartographer of No Man's Land offers a soulful portrayal of World War I and the lives that were forever changed by it, both on the battlefield and at home.
©2013 P. S. Duffy (P)2013 Audible, Inc.
"With warm, precise tones, David Marantz narrates this fascinating story. . . . Subtle characterizations force listeners to pay careful attention to the changing scenes, the horrors of war, and the long discussions about life. Marantz steadily weaves the two plots together in this heartrending story of the war to end all wars." (AudioFile)
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I had noticed this novel in the local bookstore and was intrigued by the jacket synopsis. Great character and plot development. The ending is somewhat surprising - a mix of disappointment, betrayal, rebirth and redemption. The narration was exceptional. Look forward to future novels.
This historical fiction of families living in Nova Scotia and involved with the Canadian Army during WWI, had a slow start and I was about to put it aside, but kept listening and was glad that I did. The book became better with each chapter. Although I wasn't interested in the battle descriptions, the characters were very real and believable.
Retired CFO, Army wife, Mom of five, Grandma of six, two sons who served in combat, love to read books that reflect my values and faith, love mysteries, historical, military stories, and books that don't waste my time . . . if it doesn't have an ending that was worth the wait, I'm not a happy camper.
You must have a heart to listen to the story of Angus, his pacifist father, his wife, Hettie, her brother, Ebbin (and Angus' best friend), and Hettie and Angus' son, Simon Peter. If you are unable to pick up on subtle nuances, or appreciate them, this one isn't for you . . . but if you are . . . you are in for an unusual listen . . . fluctuating between a poor fishing village in Nova Scotia (Canada) and the war torn fields of WWI France, the beauty wrought by an artist's hand, unseen and unappreciated by a harsh and hardened father, and the unbelievably close relationships forged between soldiers on the battlefield . . . Angus gone to fight a war he never wanted to fight, in search of Ebbin, finds himself in circumstances he never expected to be in . . . and feeling things he never expected to feel . . . and here, my friends, is the crux of the matter, the ONE thing that ALL wars come down to, the soldiers in the fight . . . YES, it is them . . . they fight for us, AND they fight for one another . . . and in that blood battle, THEY ARE ONE . . . never mistake it, never take it for granted, and never forget it . . . for when they return, IF they return, they will never fully belong to us again . . . for a part of them will forever remain on the killing field, with their comrades, dead, and sorry they didn't die with them . . . another part with their surviving comrades, sharing that sorrow . . . and, if we are lucky, there remains a part for us . . . This book is exemplary . . . if you have a soldier in your family, listen to it . . . if you are a soldier, listen to it . . . Angus found a sort of peace, a resolution . . . to each, I pray the same . . .
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