When English soldier Hal strikes up a conversation with German Lieutenant Wilhelm during the ceasefire in no-man's-land on Christmas Day 1914, he has no idea the impact this chance meeting will have. Wilhelm is in love with an English woman, Sam, and presses a photograph into Hal's hand - if he makes it home, Hal must promise to find Sam and give her this token of affection.
Hal does make it home, though the war rages on - but the moment he sees Sam, he is in trouble. With Wilhelm's shadow looming over their relationship, and his photograph never revealed, Hal begins to live a life that was meant for someone else.
I couldn't get to grips with this at all, after every chapter I had to ask myself "do you want to listen to this anymore?" - and after about 3, I decided I didn't (life is too short to listen to boring books)
This is an unusual book that first establishes itself as a spy story and is quite thrilling. But half way in, the story changes to the Brittish intelligence officer's domestic and private sphere. There is a too long passage of some bewilderment and even disappointment but then the novel changes genre and becomes more of traditional romantic plot.
Narratological the text is full of enigmatic hints at the beginning, hints that become explained much later and makes the novel quite interesting from the point of view of "in medias res"-technique.
My three stars are quite mean; I guess you might like The Kissing Gates quite a lot!
Have to say that this is one of the most memorable and moving books I have ever listened to.
The interweaving of the story is quite remarkable. Does pull at the heart-strings, though.
Well worth a listen