The Soldier's Wife by Margaret Leroy

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A novel full of grand passion and intensity, The Soldier's Wife asks "What would you do for your family?", "What should you do for a stranger?", and "What would you do for love?"

As World War II draws closer and closer to Guernsey, Vivienne de la Mare knows that there will be sacrifices to be made. Not just for herself, but for her two young daughters and for her mother-in-law, for whom she cares while her husband is away fighting. What she does not expect is that she will fall in love with one of the enigmatic German soldiers who take up residence in the house next door to her home. As their relationship intensifies, so do the pressures on Vivienne. Food and resources grow scant, and the restrictions placed upon the residents of the island grow with each passing week. Though Vivienne knows the perils of her love affair with Gunther, she believes that she can keep their relationship--and her family--safe. But when she becomes aware of the full brutality of the Occupation, she must decide if she is willing to risk her personal happiness for the life of a stranger.

Includes a reading group guide for book clubs.

About Margaret Leroy

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MARGARET LEROY studied music at Oxford and has worked as a music therapist and social worker. She has written five previous novels. Her first novel Trust was televised in the UK. Postcards from Berlin was a New York Times Notable Book, and Yes, My Darling Daughter was chosen for the Oprah Summer Reading List. Her books have been published in ten languages. She is married with two children and lives in London.Photo credit: Nikki Gibbs 
Published June 28, 2011 by Hachette Books. 416 pages
Genres: History, Literature & Fiction, Romance, Science Fiction & Fantasy, War. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Soldier's Wife

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Vivienne compartmentalizes her passion for Gunther, her protectiveness toward her girls and her patriotic anger at the Germans.

Jun 28 2011 | Read Full Review of The Soldier's Wife

Publishers Weekly

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Then the German army occupies her town, and Vivienne is increasingly torn between her sympathies for the POWs and her budding feelings for Gunther, a German officer who has moved in next door.

Apr 11 2011 | Read Full Review of The Soldier's Wife


The island of Guernsey comes to life on the pages, and the simpler times and strong values of the era twine together to make Vivienne’s life conflicted even amidst the horrors of war and occupation.

Jun 05 2011 | Read Full Review of The Soldier's Wife


While the characters in Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows’ charming novel “The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society” were thwarting the Germans who were occupying their once-bucolic Channel Island, Guernsey soldier's wife and mother Vivienne de la Mare is – quite literally – sleeping with t...

Sep 16 2012 | Read Full Review of The Soldier's Wife

MostlyFiction Book Reviews

One of the very few, actually, for as the title of the book that Leroy acknowledges in her introduction indicates (The Model Occupation by Madeleine Bunting), the German occupation of Guernsey was marked by civility on both sides and little effective resistance.

Jun 28 2011 | Read Full Review of The Soldier's Wife

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