|About the Book|
When Britain declares war on Germany in 1939 Ian Wylie goes to France, not to fight for King and country but rather because as the only son of an English Lord, professional soldier and decorated hero of the Great War he has both a family traditionMoreWhen Britain declares war on Germany in 1939 Ian Wylie goes to France, not to fight for King and country but rather because as the only son of an English Lord, professional soldier and decorated hero of the Great War he has both a family tradition and reputation to uphold. It is a responsibility he is unable to measure up. This becomes evident when his fathers regiment rejects him because of physical attributes that one officer describes as boarding on being effeminate, making him unacceptable officer material. Undaunted, Lord Wylie manages to secure a posting for his son with the Royal Artillery, one Ian wants no part of but does not have the courage to turn down.While serving as an observer with a unit covering the retreat of the BEF to Dunkirk in May of 1940, Ian survives a massacre of prisoners taken by a Waffen SS unit. Resolving not to be take prisoner again, yet equally disgusted by the manner in which the BEF was thrown away, Ian is determined to find a way of sitting out the war, safe from both the Germans and his responsibilities.He finds sanctuary for a while on a small farm owned by Andrea Morel, a teacher who was educated in England. After Ian is involved in an incident with the German authorities who mistake him as a female Andrea, fearful for her own safety arranges for him to accept a standing offer made to her to teach at a Catholics girls school in Normandy using her sister’s identity.The former officer’s efforts to turn his back on the war by assuming the identity of Diana Lambert are undone by a member of the resistance who wishes to use her command of German and English to assist him in gathering intelligence. He succeeds in doing so by using a threat to one of her students. When some of her students find out what she is doing quite by accident, they convince Diana into allowing them to help.The Germans working to crush the resistance are not the only threat Diana and her girls must deal with. Several students at the school have fathers who are officials with the Vichy Government, causing Diana to tread a fine line in and out of the classroom in order to keep both her clandestine work on behalf of the Allies and her true identity a secret. Her already precarious situation becomes even more tenuous when a German E-Boat commander stationed at Cherbourg becomes infatuated with her, a complication she attempts to discourage at first but finds herself unable to resist the German officer’s charms and attention.The wheel of Fate makes one last turn for Diana when, on D-Day she finds herself having to resurrect her training as an artillery observer and assist members of the 82nd Airborne as they struggle to hold out against determined German counterattacks on June 6th.