Pamela's Reviews > We Shall Not Sleep

We Shall Not Sleep by Anne Perry
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Jan 26, 2010

really liked it
Read in January, 2010

With a sinister "Peacemaker" threatening the world even as WWI ends, the three Reavley siblings (a chaplain, an ambulance driver, and an intelligence officer) combine forces to deliver a high ranking German officer but are waylaid by a murder near the front lines at Ypres--a murder gruesome even to those accustomed to the wholesale slaughter of trench warfare. Their personal lives are inextricably bound into the plot and the subplot. Throughout the novel there is much beautifully written philosophizing about war and its devastation on the body and on the spirit of soldiers and civilians, but my favorite, prophetic lines come from the German officer: "Great men use power as little of possible. It takes supreme humility to allow others to disagree and to make their own mistakes. The right to be wrong is worth dying to protect, because without it all our virtues are empty. What we have not paid for slips through our fingers, because we do not value it enough to do what is necessary to keep it" (page 512 --large print version of novel).
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