News of Our Loved Ones : A Novel by Abigail DeWitt
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What if your family's fate could be traced back to one indelible summer For four long years, the Delasalle family has been living in Normandy under Nazi occupation. Maman, Oncle Henri, Yvonne, and Françoise anxiously watched as their Jewish neighbors were arrested or wordlessly disappeared. Now, in June 1944, sirens wail each day, warning of approaching bombers, and the family wonders if rumors of the coming Allied invasion are true. Living without the promise of tomorrow, the youngest, Yvonne, still finds beauty and even pleasure as the hours of the day pass. Meanwhile, her sister Geneviève is in Paris to audition for the National Conservatory. Pausing to consider the shadow of a passing cloud, she does not know that her family's home in Normandy lies in the path of British and American bombers. While Geneviève plays, her life is spared. Her brother and Tante Chouchotte, also in Paris, fearfully await news from their loved ones in Normandy. Decades later, Geneviève, now the wife of an American musician, lives in the United States. Each summer she returns to her homeland with her children, so that they may know their French family. Her youngest daughter, Polly, becomes obsessed with the stories she hears about the war, believing they are the key to understanding her mother and the conflicting cultures shaping her life. Moving back and forth in time and told from varying points of view, News of Our Loved Ones explores with exquisite detail the way family histories are shared. With deeply human characters you won't soon forget, this novel illuminates the power of storytelling to help us understand the past as well as who we are.


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