A Foreign Country

A Foreign Country Daphne is a year old woman reserved and tenaciously independent whose wartime past comes to haunt her in this remarkably accomplished first novel In the war she worked at the War Office having t

  • Title: A Foreign Country
  • Author: Francine Stock
  • ISBN: 9780099273509
  • Page: 422
  • Format: Paperback
  • Daphne is a 74 year old woman, reserved and tenaciously independent, whose wartime past comes to haunt her in this remarkably accomplished first novel In the war she worked at the War Office, having to interview italians arrested in dawn raids in London, and had to decide which are are not fascists and should be interned As a result, hundreds of italians are embarked onDaphne is a 74 year old woman, reserved and tenaciously independent, whose wartime past comes to haunt her in this remarkably accomplished first novel In the war she worked at the War Office, having to interview italians arrested in dawn raids in London, and had to decide which are are not fascists and should be interned As a result, hundreds of italians are embarked on a ship which is torpedoed, and most of them drown Back in the present, the woman s son is a tv journalist who makes documentaries about wars in far off places The novel moves between his coverage of a war in southern republic of the ex USSR, and his mother s wartime life His girlfriend, also in TV, starts uncovering fascinating material about the Italians in wartime London, and moves in on his mother Meanwhile Daphne has also heard from one of the survivors, now in Australia It s a compelling exploration of how we edit life, past and present, about how even the smallest actions can reverberate, about how decisions which seem right and understandable at one time and place can be interpreted quite differently in a different time and place The past is definitely a foreign country.

    One thought on “A Foreign Country”

    1. I read this book because it was the choice for June by someone in my book group. The subtitle was "a mesmerising tale of love and war" and I was certainly less than mesmerised. The story tells of a woman who has a moment of glory and power in WW2 when she is working for a team who interview interned Italians and decide whether or not they are "dangerous". She is young and working under pressure with little understanding of what repercussions her decisions will have. The story is told in retrospe [...]

    2. Fuzzy-edged flitting from now to the influences of the past, and back again; from a mother who viewed herself more charitably than did her children and a man who was affected by her past actions, the way this is written, the irrational complexity of its characters and the unanswered questions gives it a stronger sense of truthfulness, faithfulness to real life.

    3. Started, tried to persevere, gave up. Not one engaging character, idea or plot-line in it as far as I could tell.Shame really because Francine Stock is a smart woman and an incisive broadcaster.

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