A PARACHUTE IN THE LIME TREE by ANNEMARIE NEARY.
April 1941. German bombers are in the air, about to attack Belfast.
Oskar is a Luftwaffe conscript whose sweetheart, Elsa, was forced to flee Berlin for Ireland two years before. War-weary he longs for escape.
In remote Dunkerin, Kitty awakes to find a parachute trapped in one of the lime trees. When she discovers Oskar, injured and foraging for food in her kitchen, he becomes a rare and exciting secret. But Ireland during the 'Emergency' is an uneasy place, and word of the parachute soon spreads.
Meanwhile, Elsa is haunted by the plight of the parents she left behind. With the threat of Nazi invasion, she feels far from secure.
A chance encounter with Elsa, and Charlie, a young medical student, finds himself falling in love.
Oskar, Kitty, Elsa, Charlie. Their lives intertwine in a climate of war, exile, and ever-uncertain neutrality.
...... Outer back cover.
FIRST SENTENCE (Oskar: The Fall): Oskar had never been afraid of falling.
MEMORABLE MOMENT (Page 120): "Are those letters?" he asked. "Can you write to them?"
As soon as he said it, he remembered what Bethel had told him and he wished he could bite back the question.
She shook her head, just once this time. "Not any more. How do you write to people who are trying not to exist?"
MY THOUGHTS: Have you ever read a book where the emotions of the characters are so raw as to be tangible? Well, A Parachute In The Lime Tree is one such novel.
Beautifully penned and full of poignant moments. Though not a novel that gripped me right from the beginning, I did at first find the numerous change in narratives slightly disturbed the flow of the story but by the end I was so caught up in the hypnotic quality of Oskar and Elsa's stories that I found myself reluctant to put it down for even one moment.
A truly uplifting read, a story of lost love and redemption which spans countries and cultures, might I suggest you have a box of tissues on stand-by.
DISCLAIMER: Read and reviewed on behalf of the author I was merely asked for my honest opinion, no financial compensation was asked for nor given.