News of Our Loved Ones
|News of Our Loved Ones
Set in France and America, News of Our Loved Ones is a haunting and intimate examination of love and loss, beauty and the cost of survival, witnessed through two generations of one French family, whose lives are all touched by the tragic events surrounding the D-Day bombings in Normandy.
What if your family’s fate could be traced back to one indelible summer?
Over four long years, the Delasalle family has struggled to live in their Nazi occupied village in Normandy. Maman, Oncle Henri, Yvonne, and Françoise silently watched as their Jewish neighbors were arrested or wordlessly disappeared. Now in June 1944, when the sirens wail each day, warning of approaching bombers, the family wonders if rumors of the coming Allied invasion are true—and if they will survive to see their country liberated.
For sixteen-year-old Yvonne, thoughts of the war recede when she sees the red-haired boy bicycle past her window each afternoon. Murmuring to herself I love you, I love you, I love you, she wills herself to hear the whisper of his bicycle tires over the screech of Allied bombs falling from the sky.
Yvonne’s sister, Geneviève, is in Paris to audition for the National Conservatory. Pausing to consider the shadow of a passing cloud as she raises her bow, she does not know that her family’s home in Normandy lies in the path of British and American bombers. While Geneviève plays, her brother Simon and Tante Chouchotte, anxiously await news from their loved ones in Normandy.
Decades later, Geneviève, the wife of an American musician, lives in the United States. Each summer she returns to her homeland with her children, so that they may know their French family. Geneviève’s youngest daughter, Polly, becomes obsessed with the stories she hears about the war, believing they are the key to understanding her mother and the conflicting cultures shaping her life.
Moving back and forth in time, told from varying points of view, News of Our Loved Ones explores the way family histories are shared and illuminates the power of storytelling to understand the past and who we are.
Reviews, News & Interviews:
What a beautiful, haunting novel Abigail DeWitt gives us...These are stories of love and great loss, of memory, of scars, of the devastating force that is war...of how people and families endure, keep going and find new reasons to live...DeWitt writes beautifully, poetically, with great attention to detail that brings the scenes to life and makes the memories and emotions all the more poignant…a book to be savored. Greensboro News & Record
Compelling…The experiences, perspectives, and secrets of a French family during the Nazi occupation and after World War II… The novel successfully portrays the indelible impact of the war on people who lived through it. Kirkus Reviews
Abigail DeWitt shows how one generation’s experience is transferred to the next generation. News of Our Loved Ones is a war story that studies the war with the help of the psychological scars its victims suffer from. It is absolutely mesmerizing. Washington Book Review
In an age of novels where not much happens, DeWitt packs in enough narrative in a short space that would normally keep a multi-volume series running for years. News of Our Loved Ones ponders questions of love, loss, family and the long-reaching impact of war. Wilmington Star News
Lyrical and haunting.Lilith