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The Lives of Stella Bain by Anita Shreve
  

The Lives of Stella Bain

Family Drama   World War One Literature   Historical Fiction   eBook Favourites   

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This one is brilliant. We meet Stella in 1916 in a hospital tent in France. It seems she was an ambulance driver, now with shrapnel wounds to her feet and legs. More importantly she has lost her memory. As bits of it gradually return so we travel with her to piece her life together. We go from France to London to America and back again as we eventually follow her fight for custody of her children. This is truly compulsive, unputdownable stuff that tears at your heart and punches you in the stomach. It’s an incredibly powerful tale, highly recommended.

If you like Anita Shreve you might also like to read books by Jodi Picoult, Miriam Toews and Amanda Eyre Ward.


The Good Book Guide logo The Good Book Guide Review. Coinciding with the First World War centenary, Anita Shreve’s latest novel revolves around the enigmatic figure of an American woman suffering intense amnesia in the wake of the war. Awaking to the harsh reality of a field hospital in 1916, Stella Bain is aware only of her name, and that she can draw and drive an ambulance, but all other details of her life and identity are utterly lost to her. Suffering unpleasant physical symptoms and determined to discover the truth about her past, with the aid of cranial surgeon August Bridge, Stella begins an uneasy quest that will force her to confront some unnerving facts about her former life. Why did she leave the comforting haven of a New England college campus and for what exactly was she trying to atone? Atmospheric and eerie, Shreve’s novel is both a psychological mystery and an unusual love story, unravelling in sparse, delicate style.
~ Amanda Hodges

Synopsis

The Lives of Stella Bain by Anita Shreve

Hauled in a cart to a field hospital in northern France in March 1916, an American woman wakes from unconsciousness to the smell of gas gangrene, the sounds of men in pain, and an almost complete loss of memory: she knows only that she can drive an ambulance, she can draw, and her name is Stella Bain. A stateless woman in a lawless country, Stella embarks on a journey to reconstruct her life. Suffering an agonising and inexplicable array of symptoms, she finds her way to London. There, Dr August Bridge, a cranial surgeon turned psychologist, is drawn to tracking her amnesia to its source. What brutality was she fleeing when she left the tranquil seclusion of a New England college campus to serve on the Front; for what crime did she need to atone - and whom did she leave behind? Vivid, intense and gripping, packed with secrets and revelations, The Lives of Stella Bain is at once a ravishing love story and an intense psychological mystery.

Reviews

'A powerful reminder of the resilience of the human spirit, this tale is utterly unforgettable Lady Atonement with just the tiniest dash of Downton Abbey. This is a First World War story with a difference ... a fantastic read' Red

'Gripping and moving' Sunday Times

'Fascinating' Daily Mail

'Captivating' Bella

About the Author

Anita Shreve

Anita Shreve is the author of fifteen best-selling novels which have spent more than 100 weeks on the New York Times Bestseller Lists. The Weight of Water was short listed for the Orange Prize and The Pilot’s Wife was selected by Oprah Winfrey’s ‘Book club’ series. Shreve started her writing career as a journalist and her award-winning short stories and non-fiction have appeared in the New York Times Magazine, Cosmopolitan and Esquire. Shreve is married to a man she met when she was 13. She has two children and three stepchildren and lives in Massachusetts.

Anita Shreve was our Author of the Month in February 2012.

Author photo © Deborah Feingold

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Book Info

Publication date

11th September 2014

Author

Anita Shreve

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Author's Website

www.anitashreve.com/

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Publisher

Abacus an imprint of Little, Brown Book Group

Format

Paperback
320 pages

Categories

Family Drama
World War One Literature
Historical Fiction
eBook Favourites

Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)

ISBN

9780349123578

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