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In Pale Battalions by Robert Goddard

In Pale Battalions (original 1988; edition 2007)

by Robert Goddard

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4921420,793 (3.9)43
Title:In Pale Battalions
Authors:Robert Goddard
Info:Delta (2007), Paperback, 368 pages
Collections:Your library

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In Pale Battalions by Robert Goddard (1988)



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Showing 1-5 of 11 (next | show all)
Really enjoyed this one! Goddard is a real master and I love all his novels! He is an excellent story-teller! If you haven't read any of his books, you need to do that now! ( )
  EadieB | Jan 19, 2016 |
In Pale Battalions tells the story of the newly widowed Leonora Galloway who sets off, with her daughter Penelope, on a holiday in Paris. The first stop on their journey is the Thiepval Memorial for those who died at the Battle of the Somme during World War I. This is where Leonora's father has been memorialized as one of the WW1 heroes. The memorial lists her father's date of death as April 30, 1916 but Leonora isn't born for another eleven months. She realizes this man can't be her father. Thus starts the story, told mostly in flashback by Leonora, of the skeletons hidden in the closets of Leonora's relatives.

The novel is part mystery and part historical fiction. In some places it reminded me of a Daphne DuMaurier Gothic novel, with all the elements of evil relatives, unexpected plot changes, huge manor houses, and psychological twists.

The writing is elegant and lyrical but totally readable. The story is very cleverly written and you can never be sure what you think is going on is real or just a plot twist. Some readers may find the pacing slow, but I was completely dazzled by the story.
( )
  Olivermagnus | Jan 17, 2016 |
This is the first book I've read by Robert Goddard and it most certainly won't be the last. Very intriguing story that defies you to name the genre - Gothic romance, thriller, mystery, historical fiction, literary fiction - all apply. Based on the title, I thought this would be more of a war story and while the war certainly is part of this book, it's not the main story. It's a complicated story so you need to pay close attention to details. Just as one mystery is resolved, another one pops up. There are points where you think, well, that's that but the mysterious story goes on and isn't resolved until the last page. Excellent writing by Mr. Goddard. This is a wonderful book to get lost in. ( )
  hubblegal | Jan 9, 2015 |
A classic serious historical, very much of its time and in that style. It's a literary book, wordy and more tell than show, a classic 1980s good literary work. Well worth a read.

The story is slow and thoughtful in pace. Leonora Galloway takes her grown up daughter and goes to visit the war graves in France, where her father is buried. Or is he? The past unfolds, as Leonora knows it, told by various people and it is a complicated tortuous unfolding twisting and turning right to the final pages.

Nice touches give us a picture of English country living during WWI and some fascinating characters.

No stars until I can have a personal system which does not affect the writer’s ratings.
  p.d.r.lindsay | Nov 4, 2014 |
Less about WWI than about the mystery of her parents. ( )
  agjuba | Jan 19, 2014 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0385339208, Paperback)

Six months after her husband's sudden death, Leonora Galloway sets off for a holiday in Paris with her daughter Penelope.  At last the time has come when secrets can be shared and explanations begin...

Their journey starts with an unscheduled stop at the imposing Thiepval Memorial to the dead of the Battle of the Somme near Amiens.  Amongst those commemorated is Leonora's father.  The date of his death is recorded and 30th  April, 1916.  But Leonora wasn't born until 14th March 1917.

Penelope at once supposes a simple wartime illegitimacy as the clue to her mother's unhappy childhood and the family's sundered connections with her aristocratic heritage, about which she has always known so little.

But nothing could have prepared her, or the reader, for the extraordinary story that is about to unfold.

From the Paperback edition.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:21:28 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

The year is 1916. A young soldier has survived the horrors of the Somme and now travels to his fallen captain's Hampshire estate to visit the man's bereaved family. Within days of Tom's arrival, a man is murdered. Another commits suicide, and Tom is falling in love with his friend's beautiful widow.....… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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