The Light from the Dark Side of the Moon
by Norman G. Gautreau
Pub Date 21 May 2019
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A remembrance of love in a time of war.
92-year-old Henry Budge defies most of his family by escaping a rehab hospital to make his way to France for the ceremonies of the 70th observance of D-Day. Before he dies, he hopes to at last address a grief he has allowed to simmer for decades and to rekindle memories of Élodie Bedier, the French Resistance fighter with whom he fell in love 70 years earlier, as a way of confronting his grief at losing her.
During his return journey, he relives events of 1944: being wounded as he parachutes into Normandy; falling in love with Élodie who nurses him back to health; fighting the Germans alongside her and her resistance companions; and finally abandoning the war to rescue a group of children from the Holocaust, choices that leave Henry at risk of a firing squad for desertion and Élodie vulnerable to fatal condemnation from her compatriots. When he arrives back in France, Henry makes several shocking discoveries that shake the very foundations of the memories he’s had of Élodie all these years and he is left to wonder about the love he has had for Élodie: what rests on true memory vs. what is based on countless imagined conversations over the decades?