Tuesday, February 15, 2011

"Grayton Beach Affair" by James Harvey

War, deceit, a love affair, and more await the reader of "Grayton Beach Affair" by James Harvey. Christian Wolff is an unsettled man who would love nothing more than to stay under everyone's radar and simply live his life. However, war has come to Germany and the things he loves and enjoys are changing. As a German who grew up in America and knows it well, the German hierarchy not only notices him, but they have a job for him to do. He is forced to "volunteer" to extract a German scientist, Dieter Braun, from an American prison camp in southern Florida. After traveling to America via U-Boat, Christian must keep his German heritage secret, find his way to the scientist, and get back to Germany without anyone discovering the plot. But, circumstances conspire against him, as they so often do, and Christian meets a woman named Maggie Neal. They have a brief love affair but Christian leaves, thinking he can leave his feelings for Maggie behind, and reappears in France. There he joins the French resistance and realizes that his life would be better spent in America with Maggie. Will Christian find Maggie? Does she want to be found and, if so, will she ever trust him again? What happened to Dieter Braun, and how did Christian escape being caught by the Germans?

This is an intriguing book that keeps a reader interested with the story line and characters. I found the story compelling and easy to read, with many thrilling moments of war and love. I recommend this book to lovers of historical or romantic fiction, as well as reading groups. There are some great topics of discussion here.

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