Charlotte Gray – Vancouver Writers Festival
Her increasingly forlorn hope that Peter Gregory ha s survived becomes equated in her mind with a desire to keep alive the spirit of France as she has known it — exemplified by the Resistance. Her hope for one depends on her belief in the other. But Levade is Jewish, and Julien half Jewish. By risking her life in this way, she feels she has proved her devotion to France and to the possibility of its resuming its previous life after the War.
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Some readers found the scenes in Drancy and then at Auschwitz, described through the eyes of the boys, almost impossible to read. But Charlotte herself grows in power and understanding; she leaves behind the reserved girl of the opening chapters as for the first time she is able to bring the full force of her character to bear on events. She is finally reunited with her lover, though there is no happy ending.
Above all, the novel offers, in the person of Charlotte, a tribute to the power of human character under circumstances of extreme duresse. There is also a musical link between Charlotte Gray and Birdsong. Although the film was thought to have ducked the challenges of the book and fared disappointingly at the box office, it had a strong performance by Cate Blanchett as Charlotte, with notable support from Billy Crudup as Julien and Helen McCrory as a local French courier.
Faulks lived in south-west France, near Agen, while writing the book. Charlotte Gray Published: Vintage, ;.
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The New York Times has called Faulks "hugely talented. Learn More About Charlotte Gray print.
In Conversation With Charlotte Gray and Emma Donoghue
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