Girl in the Blue Beret, a WWII Novel

Veterans’ Day is coming soon on November 11, and each year we lose more of our World War II veterans. In remembrance, why not read one of the many novels or nonfiction books on WWII? The Girl in the Blue Beret by Bobbie Ann Mason would be an excellent choice.

World War II is a popular setting for novels. I have read and enjoyed several in the past few years:

I Gave My Heart to Know This by Ellen Baker

The Postmistress by Sarah Blake

Skeletons at the Feast by Chris Bohjalian

Carry Me Home by Sandra Kring

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows

All Clear and Blackout by Connie Willis

The latest novel that I have read with a World War II setting is The Girl in the Blue Beret by Bobbie Ann Mason. It is based on the WWII experiences of the author’s father-in-law. In 1980 commercial airline pilot Marshall Stone is facing mandatory retirement because he has reached age 60. He is at loose ends. His wife died 2 years ago, and his daughter and son do not live close by. Marshall decides to go to Belgium near the French border to see the place where his plane crashed in WWII. He had been able to escape and with the help of the French Resistance, made it across the Pyrenees to Spain and then to England. He remembers the Albert family in Chauny, France and is able to locate them fairly easily. Marshall was helped in Paris by a family he knew as Vallon, but he doesn’t know if that was their real name. He particularly remembers Annette, the teenage girl in the blue beret who guided him through Paris. Robert, a young man in the resistance movement, is another person that Marshall would like to find. This is a haunting story about people in the resistance movement and about an American pilot coming to terms with his war-time experiences.




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