The World Behind The Window

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Jan 21, Darcy rated it really liked it. I had a difficult time getting into this novel. The relationship that forms between two of the main characters seemed artificial and contrived. For the first 60 pages, I just kept thinking, "how could Riley write such unconvincing dribble! Once I became immersed in the story, I got swept away in what is now the familiar intricacies of Riley's plots. This is a part of the war that I was not familiar with and I enjoyed learning about it. View all 12 comments. I have never been disappointed with a Lucinda Riley book.

This is my 3rd book by her and I really enjoyed this one. She generally writes stories with dual time lines going - a story in the past and one in the present that then tie together. I personally enjoy these type of books. This story does deal with the time of the Nazi occupation of France in WW 2 and the stress connected with that is pretty high. I was definitely on the edge of my seat at times! The book has a good ending and I plan to r I have never been disappointed with a Lucinda Riley book. The book has a good ending and I plan to read more by this author for sure. I finally found a novel about WW2 that I love!

Thank you, Miss Lucinda Riley, for writing it. I finished another one of your books with tears in my eyes. Nov 30, Idril Celebrindal rated it it was ok. I have been having really bad luck with my reading choices lately. I don't understand why so many people seem to want to write books about women in SOE that in fact aren't about what women in SOE did. Or at least, I thought this would be about a woman in SOE along with a related story set in the more or less present day , but apparently it wanted to be a soapy drama.

Which could have been okay, except that it was so clunky and flat. I know this is fiction and heaven knows I am not a very big fan I have been having really bad luck with my reading choices lately. I know this is fiction and heaven knows I am not a very big fan of "gritty" realism, but there does have to be some detail to evoke a sense of reality and place. I can't find any of that here. The author tosses in a few names of some actual people from SOE, but that's where it stops.

Did you know that in France, coffee was available throughout the entirety of WW2? You didn't, really? Of course you didn't, because that is most amateur mistake I've ever seen. However, in this book everyone has coffee. Wander into a cafe in occupied Paris, grab some coffee; stop at a rural train station, sip some coffee; hide in a basement and warm up with some coffee!

It's only coffee. So let's also talk about forged identity papers. Need new papers? Your local aristocrat can have them whipped up overnight! Don't know any aristocrats? Head to the nearest cottage; the peasantry can meet the same deadline for half the price!


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I am assuming on the price thing; money is never mentioned and it's never hard for anyone to obtain anything in this book. Air raids are boring to sit through apparently but don't damage anything, apparently, and travel is smellier but apparently everyone does it. Cousins from Vichy France apparently head to Paris for holidays without any difficulty. In reality it took people months to find passage home. Or do anything. Except drink coffee. If you don't care what life was like in wartime France, the hardships and dangers, why bother to set your story there? With one exception nothing really difficult happens to these ridiculous characters.

And they are so ridiculous. They do nothing and then talk to each other about how brave they all are. As for the modern part of the novel, "naive woman falls for charming man, whom the reader suspects is bad news" could be an interesting story. But in this, Sebastian is so obviously full of shit and so bland, and Emilie is so bland and seems so stupid for falling for it, that I just felt bored waiting for the inevitable revelation.

And here again was a total lack of challenge for the characters: the first chapter tells us Emilie's mother spent all the family fortune and who knows what will happen to the family chateau and sacre bleu! Oh, but, just sell the town house and some jewelry and you're not only set for life but can carry out expensive renovations and write your husband checks for multiple tens of thousands of pounds without blinking. And the husband: view spoiler [Still can't figure out why he married her.

I mean, if it was just "her money" that'd be one thing. But we're told it was to steal a specific book. For money. But the book isn't really THAT valuable, comparatively. I mean, it's a ton of money to me, but in context it isn't. I don't think so, anyway, because our novel isn't actually sure how much this MacGuffin is worth. It's not even the most valuable book in the chateau's library.

There were plenty of other objects he could have stolen, since Emilie didn't even know what she owned. The book trots this "steal one specific book" explanation out at the end and even tries to lampshade it but it just doesn't make sense. And he just doesn't care! It was baffling and silly and nonsensical. I feel like lately I've been writing only flippantly dismissive reviews of books I suffered through, which is getting tiresome. I'd really like to read something I enjoy.

This was not it. As a final note, my favorite part was the actual Big No set out ridiculously in type.

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View all 5 comments. Yet again Lucinda Riley has created and weaved a story which has you gripped from the beginning to the end. You have to keep reading, you have to know what happens you have to know if love will conquer all, if war will end, if all wrongs will be righted and that the light will shine again from behind the window where it has been hiding for many years of the main characters. Emilie de la Martinieres is there when her glamorous mother draws her final breath.

As the end comes, Emilie realises what a Yet again Lucinda Riley has created and weaved a story which has you gripped from the beginning to the end. As the end comes, Emilie realises what a task she now has to face, as the sole remaining heir she has to sort a flat in Paris, her mother's jewels and other remnants of her famous and glamorous life as well as the Chateau in the south of France, which her mother hated, but Emilie loved as a child when her father was alive.

The Chateau holds memories good and bad, and as Emilie discovers these she also discovers something of the past which has an immediate effect on the future. The reader goes on an emotional rollercoaster with Emilie, as it seems all is suddenly well with the sudden appearance of Sebastian Carruthers, an Englishman visiting the south of France because of a family tale from his grandmother. For Emilie suddenly life is going to be easy and full of light and love. Then everything builds to the top and most highest point of the rollercoaster, emotions are running high and the descent is rather fast and makes her relook at all she has.

Does she need to once again reassess all that is left behind? Constance Carruthers is a young married woman, whose husband is missing in action. Not wanting to be idle, Constance goes to do some war work as an office clerk. However, something about Constance stands out and she is one of the few selected to the SOE Special Operations Executive and after fierce and extraordinary training she is landed in France, and has to make it to Paris to help the Resistance in Vichy France.

However, contact is not easy and she is suddenly all alone in a foregin country, under an assumed name with no hope of ever returning home in the immediate future. It is a case of fight or flight. Constance chooses to fight and finds herself placed in the most extraordinary position in the house of Edouard de la Martinieres.

Not how she envisaged spending the war. Here the past and the present collide in Lucinda's story as they have done in her previous novels and is a skill will she handles effectively with ease and no obvious break with the story. Edouard is Emilie's father. Sebastian is Constance's grandson. So the links are complete. All you need to do now is sit back and enjoy the story, it captures you, it shines light in your heart, and it turns the pages long into the night.

A thousand thousand stories

The author has a skill in drawing you right into the characters lives so much so that you experience all that they do and just as you think you know the outcome or the next stage in their development, it is shifted again. A veritable tease in some ways a good skill of holding the reader's attention in others. I did not want this book to end, it could have been double the size and I still would have wanted to learn more about both the past and the present. If you are looking for a story, perhaps something old fashioned but something with history, romance, big domineering houses that are as good as characters, conflict and resolution, love and loss, prejudice in race, in class then this book will tick all the boxes.

Therefore buy it, read it and enjoy it. I found this story quite slow at the beginning and really didn't take to Emilie much, however, it did improve as it progressed and I'm pleased that I continued reading it. A dual time theme - the present and during WWII. Both time periods are set mainly in France.

The present takes up more of the book than the past however, it is the past that I enjoyed the most. This was an interesting and enjoyable family saga which blends secrets and history.


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Aug 09, Hannah rated it did not like it. I bought this book at a library book sale. This one is classified as historical fiction and that it is. I have no qualms with that. However, t 1 Star - Just horrible TW; rape I put it in one of the spoilers, but just in case someone wants to go through and read them all. Riley then tells the reader how these two women, decades apart, are intertwined. The potential this story had was immense but unfortunately it remains just that - potential.

They make the book truly unbearable. I will also say that the dialogue and language in which this book is written is ridiculous. I understand that for most of the book the characters are speaking in French but, as someone who speaks French, I also know how to translate it to English. The tone was just all wrong and way too off-putting. Now onto the characters. They seem like caricatures of themselves. It was so bizarre and not fun to read. I knew how each would react to a situation because none of them had any depth.

It falls flat on all counts. However, there is nothing rebellious or remotely interesting about her that sets her apart from what the reader can imagine to be her aristocratic counterparts. Simply put, she is an idiot. She is irritating and is so easily persuaded. Sebastian, for anyone with a brain, is a no-go even before the proposal. But then we get that scene to confirm it. Shoulda said no. It has strong tendencies toward emotional and verbal abuse, maybe even financial if you stretch your mind a bit.

A unique grievance I have with her story is the view spoiler [ rape and assault she sustained. Constance is brutally assaulted and then we read about it twice more. There are maybe two or three other mentions of it and then it just disappears.

Puppet behind the curtain, Puppet behind the window

That creates a poor standard for how authors and readers should interact with such a serious topic. To give the author credit, the assault scene is written fine. I take issue with the aftermath. Do I recommend this one? Absolutely not. Jun 27, AdiTurbo rated it really liked it. Started out a bit slow and silly at times , but developed into an emotional novel that was very engrossing. The suspense was a little on the low side, since the answers to most of the mysteries in the book were quite obvious, but it is still an absorbing read with great characters you'll enjoy rooting for.

Oh what a wonderful book I was very much looking forward to reading this story, and what a wonderful story it was!!! As Emilie begins to sort out the family affairs, she begins to I was very much looking forward to reading this story, and what a wonderful story it was!!! Running alongside this part of the book, we also meet Constance in , a young woman whose husband is missing in action.

Constance is selected for the Special Operations Executive, and quickly sent off to France. Lucinda Riley has written a truly captivating tale of love and war. From the moment I picked the story up I became enthralled with it, I simply could not put the book down again. I was spending every chance with my head buried in the pages, keen to find out where the journey would take me next. Lucinda is a very talented author, she effortlessly moves back and forth between the past and the present, cleverly weaving the two times together and creating binding links that ensures the past plays a vital role in shaping the present.

I loved every page of the book and was quite sad to finish the story, I must say I feel I gained a lot more knowledge from reading the book, as well as really enjoying the story for what it was. I thought that they were such fantastically written characters. Constance in particular showed such courage and strength in the story and it touched my heart, I really enjoyed reading her part of the story and her journey was a very emotional one.

Lucinda Riley has not only created two outstanding main characters, but has excelled in her supporting cast, Sebastian and Alex really stood out for me in that category, not forgetting Sophia as well. I was completely taken in by the story, I loved the story and will be passing it onto my Nan so she can read it When it arrived in the post she was instantly eyeing it up!

The Light Behind The Window takes the reader on an emotional and powerful journey. Kind of creepy…very cool. Perhaps his story was too hard to tell, but the painter captured him exactly…it seems. It was a little odd being along with him in a dimly lit gallery…. Thanks for sharing this, Kate — it deserves to be better known — especially as the reflective surface of the protective glass adds another dimension with mullioned Hampton Court windows and a hint of the observer also in the picture.

I love your observation about the length of time this sitter would have sat, Chris. And you are the first to mention the reflections. It is impossible to take a photograph of this without the reflections from opposite playing on this picture. Who painted it, did you say and i missed it? This is an amazing trangression. A radical portrait. And brilliant. How awful that all the time I lived in london and its surrounds i never went to any of these places, I pretty much just slept and walked on my days off..

This is a very cool painting that in a way transcends time, Kate. Timeless painting and, to me, little boys forevermore. I went to Hampton Court Palace on Friday, have just put a post up about the tapestries. But a revelation. No nor me, I thought the same, it sure was high though. We managed ok in the rain, just dashed inbetween sections. You tell a story very well, setting the scene so we can picture it so vividly in our minds.

How marvelous! I was caught quite off-guard by that charming and impish grin! He is delightful, as was the telling of this story! This is marvelous! I agree with Three Well Beings — the charming, impish grin is the best thing about this painting. You are commenting using your WordPress. You are commenting using your Google account. Many are ornate. Simple yet intrinsically detailed. A door can stand for so many things. The end.

the green world behind my window | majka44 | Flickr

The beginning. A new adventure.

Or home. What is the story? I hope you enjoy my little photo tour of doors from around the world. Beautiful photos!! I love looking at photos of doors and windows as well — I love how rustic they are!