The First of July: A Novel

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9781605986463: The First of July: A Novel

A captivating novel of the tragedies of war, as lives cross, dreams are shattered, and futures altered as the hours pass during the first day of the Battle of the Somme.

On July 1st, 1913, four very different men are leading four very different lives.

Exactly three years later, it is just after seven in the morning, and there are a few seconds of peace as the guns on the Somme fall silent and larks soar across the battlefield, singing as they fly over the trenches. What follows is a day of catastrophe in which Allied casualties number almost one hundred thousand. A horror that would have been unimaginable in pre-war Europe and England becomes a day of reckoning, where their lives will change forever, for Frank, Benedict, Jean-Batiste, and Harry.

Elizabeth Speller once again sublimely captures the dangerously romantic atmosphere of war-torn Europe in her latest novel that will leave critics and readers astounded.

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About the Author:

Elizabeth Speller studied Classics at Cambridge University. She is the author of The First of July, The Return of Captain John Emmett, and The Strange Fate of Kitty Easton. She lives in England.

From Publishers Weekly:

This well-told, well-plotted war epic from British novelist Speller (The Return of Captain John Emmett) tracks the life experiences of four disparate Allied soldiers fighting in the bloody Battle of the Somme. Jean-Baptiste Mallet is a French blacksmith apprentice who leaves his village for Paris; Benedict Chatto is a talented British music student and organist; Harry Sydenham is a British entrepreneur residing in New York City with his American wife, Marina; and the methodical Frank Stanton is a carpenter and coffin maker in London with an enthusiasm for racing bicycles. Each young man is swept into the First World War&'s maelstrom and serves in a different capacity: Frank&'s duty as a cyclist messenger is perhaps the most colorful and dangerous. Harry plans to join the American army later in the conflict before he reconsiders and follows his family&'s tradition of military service, enlisting as an officer. Benedict is commissioned as an artillery officer, and Jean-Baptiste is an infantry grunt manning the grim frontline trenches on the Somme. He is injured, transported to a field hospital, and spared any direct involvement when the offensive is launched. The four soldiers encounter each other on occasion, while the stark battlefield scenes evoke Hemingwayesque realism in Speller&'s unsentimental, always engaging literary war narrative. (Nov.)

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Book Description PEGASUS BOOKS, United States, 2014. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. Language: English . Brand New Book. On July 1st, 1913, four very different men are leading four very different lives. Exactly three years later, it is just after seven in the morning, and there are a few seconds of peace as the guns on the Somme fall silent and larks soar across the battlefield, singing as they fly over the trenches. What follows is a day of catastrophe in which Allied casualties number almost one hundred thousand. A horror that would have been unimaginable in pre-war Europe and England becomes a day of reckoning, where their lives will change forever, for Frank, Benedict, Jean-Batiste, and Harry Elizabeth Speller once again sublimely captures the dangerously romantic atmosphere of war-torn Europe in her latest novel that will leave critics and readers astounded. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9781605986463

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