David Bell



Former Oxford student Philip Lawless is the sole survivor of an RAF bomber that crashes in the mountains of central France in the winter of 1941. He is rescued by two sisters, Séverine and Thérèse Chevalier who live in a remote farmhouse that was once a fortified outpost of the medieval Knights Hospitalers from whom the sisters’ family descends. Against orders, Lawless repays his debt by remaining to work on the farm and in time falls in love with and marries Thérèse. He joinjoins Séverine in the French Resistance, takes part in its operations and gains the respect of her uncle Alexandre, scholar and Resistance chief, and Alexandre’s lover, the seductive Justine Lamphier. The German invasion of Unoccupied France in 1942 forces Lawless to leave his wife and newborn son and escape back to England through Spain carrying secret documents from Alexandre for British Intelligence. He becomes a pilot in a bomber squadron heavily engaged in costly raids on Germany. Returning from his final mission in 1944 he is shot down and severely injured. Three years later he awakes from a coma, physically fit but remembering nothing and no one of his War years. Lawless resumes his studies in Oxford with his former tutor and lover and now a College Principal, Winifred Smallwood. He marries again and in time becomes an eminent Professor of Mediaeval languages, still unaware of his forgotten family and comrades in France and the RAF. Then a chance meeting and a piece of music change everything.

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SKU: ISBN 978-93-83868-33-9 Category:


After being rescued by the Chevalier sisters from an air crash, Former Oxford student Philip Lawless joins in the French resistance. He later becomes a pilot in a bomber squadron heavily engaged in costly raids on Germany. His life changes after he goes into a coma in his final mission.

David Bell is a geologist and Emeritus Fellow of University College Oxford. His research and service have taken him to many parts of the world, from the Solomon Islands to Virginia, from Ascension Island to Greenland. Though living in Oxford for over sixty years, he and his artist wife, Betsy spent much of their time in their house in the south of France where they came to know and love the country and its people who endured times and events like those fictionalised in this story.

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David Bell



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Pub Date

June 2017