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The Officers' Ward by Marc Dugain
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The Officers' Ward (1999)

by Marc Dugain

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French (4)  English (2)  All languages (6)
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Man who loses his face at the beginning of the war suffers many surgeries, many losses. Translated from the French. ( )
  picardyrose | Feb 20, 2009 |
It is 1914 - the first year of WWI. Adrien was at the front on the first day of the war when his two lieutenants were killed by a shell. Thankfully, Adrien still remained alive, however his face was so badly hit that his upper jaw had been blown off, and Adrien was kept in a ward without mirrors for those with facial wounds, where he was fed through his nose and looked after for the remainder of the war.
As he undergoes surgeries at the hospital, he meets two other soldiers whose faces were damaged, and he manages to keep in touch with them even after the war had ended.

I thought this book had lost a bit of its descriptive language when it was translated, however it was an easy (yet discomforting) read. I liked how the author started the story before the main event, and finished it well when he told us what happened to Adrien's friends and family. ( )
  Moniica | Jan 18, 2008 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0753812843, Paperback)

In the officers' ward of a hospital in Paris, three young men and a woman meet in the early days of the First World War. Each of them has suffered horrific injuries to the face: Adrien, the narrator, Penanster, a Breton aristocrat, Weil, a Jewish aviator, and Marguerite, a nurse, one of the few women in the hospital. The friendship that the four form sustains them through the months and years that follow. When the war ends they are released from hospital, to adapt as best they can to life outside. Based on the true war experiences of the author's grandfather, this is a moving, humorous and humane novel about war and survival. 'A powerful, haunting novel' Mail on Sunday

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:28:44 -0400)

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