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Charlotte Gray Paperback – Sep 7 1999


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage Books (Sept. 7 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099394316
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099394310
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 19.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 340 g
  • Average Customer Review: 2.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #397,236 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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2.9 out of 5 stars
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Leigh Munro on Nov. 1 2001
Format: Paperback
I finished reading Charlotte Gray last night and I woke this morning trying to understand it. I am not sure I understand, still, the narrative relationship of the story of a young, somewhat naive, Scottish girl to that of a group of French villagers struggling to survive under Vichy France. I have not understood Faulks message here.
However, this is nevertheless a marvellous book because it presents an aspect of World War II that I had never really thought about before. I was quite ignorant of the complicity of the French towards their German occupiers. This was quite shocking to me. I wish the whole book was set in Vichy and that we did not have to deal with the storyline of Charlotte and Peter Gregory. The real heart of the novel is the story of the Levades and the story of occupied France. I recommend this book to anyone who would be interested in a different insight to the war.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Stephen Blakeman on Oct. 21 2001
Format: Paperback
I read Birdsong and enjoyed it. I bought Charlotte Grey hoping for more of the same but was dissapointed. After reading it I was left thinking "what was it all about" ? I think the author has a funny style of writing in that he goes into great detail about things that appear unimportant (even irrelvant) but skips by things which are central to the story (like the capture of the children). In the book the death of the old man in the camp is dealt with in less than a page after being a key character throughout. Whilst reading it I was constanly waiting for something (anything) to happen but sadly it naver did and in the end it fizzled out like a damp firework. I intended to buy the third book in the trilogy but after Charlotte Gray I don't think I'll bother. In summary the book was a lot about nothing
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jayne MacManus on June 25 2001
Format: Paperback
Sebastian Faulks gives us a heroine to admire in the title character of Charlotte Gray, a Scottish-English woman drawn into covert intrigue in World War II France.
Charlotte, like so many ordinary people, is made remarkable by the war and situations that would be wholly uncommon in peacetime. Her personal resolve to be directly useful to the war effort prompts her to leave her job as a secretary and to become an undercover operative for the British in France.
However, it's not the secret identities and undercover maneuverings that most convince the reader of Charlotte's heroism. It's her intense involvement with RAF pilot Peter Gregory who goes missing in action. Without sentimentalizing, she sees her feelings for Gregory as transcendent and is willing to see it through to the end.
It's a crazy thing to persist in love in the middle of the war and in the midst of being an undercover operative. Readers well recognize the romantic cliché of women waiting for their lost men. In Charlotte however, our faith is renewed, our jadedness set aside.
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By A Customer on Aug. 22 2001
Format: Paperback
I thought this book was so good at the begining and enjoyed the first few chapters but then what happened????? She ends up in France looking for some guy she met a few times and it's meant to be some wonderful love story. Who cares! Boring, boring, boring........
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By A Customer on June 7 2001
Format: Paperback
This was very dull reading. I had to force myself to finish it. The love story is not at all compelling and the two lovers never had an interesting conversation. With all the opportunities for suspense in this book, there is none. In France, Charlotte disobeys orders to return to England and spends the money alloted her by the SOE on new clothes and panties for herself, instead of helping people in the Resistance. It makes the SOE look incompetent when they praise her for doing a good job. The token "snitch" in the French village is a cliché character. The Jewish story did not work, and Charlotte's hanging out in front of the concentration camp was ludicrous. I suspect this was a "bottom-of-the-drawer" manuscript that the author submitted after the success of "Birdsong." I hope the movie will be better than the book.
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By Mr. K. Mahoney on June 1 2001
Format: Paperback
There seems to be a great deal of fiction and films being produced about the Second World War at the moment, and the one challenge in such fictions is how to be distinctive from the rest. 'Pearl Harbour', like some other Hollywood films, seems to make it up as it goes along, and appears quite inauthentic, no matter how entertaining. The Second World War is a subject matter that seems far better handled by literary novelists who have a vested interest in getting the historical details right, if Charlotte Gray and Captain Corelli's Mandolin are anything to go by. Indeed, Charlotte Gray is being made into a film as I write, and will hopefully be just as authentic in celluloid.
Charlotte Gray is a young Scottish woman who sets off to do her bit by working in a London surgery. On the train, she encounters English golfers Cannerley and Morris. Cannerley seems a bit smitten by Charlotte and decides to chat to her, even giving her his phone number. Events are set in motion when Charlotte reveals that she's fluent in French, and it becomes obvious that Cannerley and Morris are involved in work of a somewhat secretive nature. When Charlotte is out socialising at a literary party in London, she meets RAF pilot Peter Gregory. Unbeknownst to each other, they fall in love. For Charlotte, this isn't a source of great happiness, and Gregory is a little unsure of himself too. Charlotte just knows that she has an inconsolable yearning for Gregory. He is assigned to RAF duties in France, and so needs to brush up on his appalling French. Unfortunately, he does not really take this opportunity to get even closer to Charlotte. Instead, he takes to learning French from the books of Antoine de Saint-Exupery.
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