In a small village in South-West France in the final years of World War II, the Resistance fight against the occupying Germans. Against this backdrop, Arianne falls madly in love with Luc, who has returned to the village after a long time away. They seem perfect for each other – but Luc has a dark secret in his past, and is desperate to make up for it, leading him to become involved with the fight against the Nazis. When someone else becomes jealous of Arianne’s feelings for him, tragedy seems inevitable.
It was, in retrospect, a mistake reading this straight after Code Name Verity, my favourite book of the year so far. Not for the reason I half-expected, though. I nearly left it for a while because I was worried that no other World War II novel could compare to the fabulous CNV - but this one holds its own. The reason reading them in succession was a mistake is that I ended up crying so much over a period of a couple of days that my eyes took ages to recover.
As mentioned above, Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein really is wonderful. For more mid 20th century historical fiction that I absolutely loved, I can't recommend A Beautiful Lie by Irfan Master highly enough.