Rhinelander District Library

Monday  9am – 7pm
Tues-Thurs  9am – 6pm
Friday  9am – 5pm
Saturday 9am – 1pm

Rhinelander District Library
106 N. Stevens Street
Rhinelander, WI 54501

Phone(715) 365-1070
Fax (715) 365-1076



This is a dual timeline story about 16 yo Elise in 1937 France. Her brother Pierre brings home a friend, William. William is from New England and is in France to fight As Elise and William spend more time together, they fall in love. As time goes by, Elise finds out that William has died in action. She is visited by William’s close friend Hank. Elise and Hank’s story is told in alternating chapters. Elise is doomed to live in the past.In 2009, Lucy who is Hank’s granddaughter goes to France to find out more about the past that Hank never spoke of. It is bittersweet for her as Hank had often talked about taking Lucy with him to see the battlefields one last time. Unfortunately, he didn’t live long enough. Lucy was raised by her grandfather as her parents died in a car crash, she was the only survivor.While in France, Lucy meets Rob, an American who is a tour guide and tours the beaches from the battles. He is a good guide for her, with his help she is able to learn more about her grandfather and who Elise was, and her short relationship with William.The story progresses swiftly, we learn about Elise and her troubled relationship with her mother and brother. Hank, promised William that he would look after Elise, even going as far as to marry her and move her to the US. They have a child, who never really gets to know his mother as she can’t escape her past. Hank as a single parent raises his son, but still never talks about the war years which has frustrated Lucy.This novel was so good and so much of a tear-jerker, I have not cried over a book in a long time. I always believe that an author has done a great job when it reduces me to tears. Such a bittersweet story and the intertwined lives of William, Elise, Hank, and Lucy. The descriptions of the war years were spot on and how the people on both sides of the ocean managed to continue with their lives.