Deborah's Reviews > Trapeze

Trapeze by Simon Mawer
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Mr. Mawer is a learned and wise gentleman who spends most of his time in research and writing. His novel "Trapeze" is reflective of this. While he is an intellect and scholar, his book is infinitely readable and moves at a fast pace. I enjoyed it very much.

"Trapeze" is a love story and a crow's eyed view of the behind the scenes during WWII in France. It is a tribute to the many women who served and died in the Resistance. I believe it's a tribute to all women who brave the front and hidden alleyways of war even today, and may never get the recognition they deserve. It always strikes me hard that the heroines (and heros) of war are so often young people in their latter teens and early 20's.

There is violence, there is a daring in events, requirements of bravery; and. not so much a "coming of age" as a story of learning the hardships and harsh realities of life in this novel. There certainly is a story of "bucking up" under terrifying situations for the young woman protagonist, 19 year old, Marian Sutro.We learn the ever true story that war creates heroes and survivors, or those who are destroyed and wounded. A wise man once said that "courage is simply fear bolstered by prayer." In "Trapeze" we find this sort of courage. Marian Sutro, just a simple young woman of no apparent genius, learned to draw from a courage she didn't realize she had, and that meant everything in a world gone crazy with violence and desperation.

The love story between Marian and research physicist Clement Pelletier is poignant and, at the same time, filled with tension. It is through this relationship we feel the impact of the war and the human tragedies and risks played out. Their chemistry leaps off the pages, and I don't mean physics!

All in all, I loved "Trapeze." It's not an ordinary historical fiction. It's a novel with contemporary relevance; one with a universal message and a tribute to not only the women of the French resistance, but of all women who fight behind the scenes for their country, for freedom.
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