by A.L. Duncan
After four years of war ravaging the French countryside and towns, it looked as if all sense of humanity had disappeared. To an outsider, the streets of 1918 Paris would seem the worst and most dreary place for an American to ever wish to step foot upon being only ninety miles from the closest front. This, of course, was the fear that beset the soul of Marguerite Adler. She would not have had the slightest interest in traveling to Paris if it were not for a letter from her mother’s estate, which stated her presence was needed immediately to settle affairs. Marguerite’s life becomes gradually transformed in a city that is very much removed from any imaginations. Paris, despite parts of it damaged, is quite alive and colorful.
It is in Paris where she finds Jean, a seemingly virtuous soul trapped in a mind exposed to the effects of war and her patriotic support. Both women, having pledged themselves to peace, albeit in quite opposite ways, find themselves attracted to a spirit the other wished they had. This is a story of how civilians survived in an everyday world of atrocity, hostilities and love by their almost sublime faiths and their prevailing submission of acceptance of the world around them.