The Lines We Leave Behind
Lake Union Publishing, Nov 2018
308 pages, Kindle, hardcover, paperback, audiobook, MP3 CD
General Fiction, Women’s Lit
The cover is appropriate and somber. Not so much an eye-catcher, but totally the woman with the beret going off on her mission. The title, I kept wanting to change it to “lives left behind”. Once you read this book, you will understand why I say that. So many left behind, so many sacrificed for someone’s cause.
The story itself starts out in an asylum for the insane. It has two sides separated by a green baize door. On one side are kept the patients who can be trusted to behave to a certain degree and live in some degree of luxury. On the other side are those who cannot be trusted with sharp objects or open doors or around other patients and are given nothing like luxuries, only the basic necessities. This complex story starts out with Maud, who lives in luxury, reminiscing about her story and working through the memories that seem a bit muddled. Some things she remembers clearly and others seem like they were done by another person. Amber, she was Amber. Her wartime memories become clearer and sharper and much more real to her until she knows the truth. But can she be allowed to remember the truth? Will she need to make that trip to the other side of the green baize door?
Finally, the past comes alive in the form of the one man who knew everything, her ex-husband and trainer, Robert. Once more he disrupts her world and disappears. Over time, Amber fades to the back of her mind and she accepts what life has dealt her until she finally has a chance to contact the young man her estranged son has become. She finally has the chance to tell her story and get to know him. And hers is a remarkable story to tell. A female agent back and forth behind the lines during the war, captured, tortured, escaping, working with various rebel groups, seeing friends get killed, passing secret information, capturing important prisoners, helping prisoners escape, and finally betrayal and lies from those closest to her.
The pace and tension build and spiral up and down and back and forth through this magnificent story until you feel like you will burst if you don’t find out the truth. How can this woman stand what she has been through over and over again?
A fabulous combination of description and action, secrets and revelations. The author has created a book that will go on your “to read again” shelf for sure. This is not just a one-time read. Highly recommended for those who enjoy wartime stories, thrillers with strong women. Definitely going on my “To be read again” shelf.