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Love and War in the Pyrenees: A Story of Courage, Fear and Hope, 1939 - 1944
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Love and War in the Pyrenees: A Story of Courage, Fear and Hope, 1939 - 1944

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  47 ratings  ·  12 reviews
What was life like for the French living in the Pyrenees, a route to freedom for refugees during WWII? A British journalist who settled in the area sought answers about the real role of the Resistance, the level of collaboration, the local concentration camps, and the treatment of Jews and other refugees. While much remains hidden, a portrait of human heroism and cruelty c ...more
Paperback, 352 pages
Published March 1st 2011 by Phoenix (first published July 31st 2008)
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3.81  · 
Rating details
 ·  47 ratings  ·  12 reviews

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Jul 31, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Rosemary Bailey previously wrote one of those "I bought a charming ruin in France and renovated it with the help of my eccentric and oh-so-French neighbours" books, which I haven't read (by the time Peter Mayle had finished with that genre there were already at least two too many). This one is the result of someone giving her a bundle of letters between the husband and wife who owned the house (a former monastery) during WWII, but it's about much more than that -- it's basically a potted history ...more
Dec 21, 2013 rated it really liked it
I have read a lot about the Spanish Civil War and the French Resistance but this book had a great deal of new information for me, most of it terribly horrific, including more than I've ever read about the conditions of French concentration camps (no, the French called them transit camps but this book makes it clear that in many ways - like starving people to death) they were concentration camps. The author follows many "characters" including refugees from Spain across the Pyrenees to France (whe ...more
Yvonne Desa
May 25, 2016 rated it liked it
I found this book to be very informative. I was not aware that the French had concentration camps. World war 11 was horrible enough but I hadn't known the struggle for the people living in that area. The author described the conditions the people lived under. I was a little disappointed that she took the story line into so many directions and lost the love story I thought was the purpose of writing the book. I have tried to read another one of her books, Living in a Postcard" and bailed early. V ...more
Michael Selvin
Aug 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
Excellent. Quite an opening of a very sensitive subject in France: WWII. Bailey does so with great sensitivity, authority, and plenty of first person accounts. It focuses on a region in Roussillon, an area on the eastern Spanish border. Not an area well known outside France (nor in France to an extent). There are many regional issues, but the basics apply to the entire country. She tells a great non- fiction story in the manner of Laura Hillenbrand's The Unbroken.
Lewis Weinstein
A really fine portrayal of life in a corner of Nazi-occupied France. Especially pertinent for us, since my wife and I lived 7 summers in Collioure, and saw the concentration camp nearby ... see our travel blog ...
Florence Penrice
Jan 30, 2012 rated it did not like it
the author has obviously done a lot of research for this book, but, equally obviously, couldn't bear to leave any of it out. The result is a baggy book, stuffed full of interviews with people (especially silver-haired old gentlemen) that quickly became indistinguishable. The subject is interesting, but the book rambles on endlessly in a unfocussed fashion. A decent editor would have tightened it up, and a decent proof reader would have got rid of the numerous glaring errors (e.g. the inhabitants ...more
Feb 27, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2011, history
I read this book during a recent holiday in France. It's a well written and moving account of heroism and love in the Catalan Pyrenees starting from the end of the Spanish Civil War through to the liberation of France at the end of the Second World War.

Recommended to anyone who cares about history and the struggle against Fascism, particularly if you like the countryside around the Pyrennes.
Jan 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
We live not that far from where this book is set so I hold my hands up to having a vested interest in reading it.
I thought it was so well researched and gave a great story. The fact that Rosemary was able to get so many people to talk to her for her research I found remarkable as few of the older people do talk about the past here.
A great book that is very worth reading.
Jan 02, 2012 rated it really liked it
Loved this because it was set in an area of France I know very well. It even mentioned the villages in the Pyrenees that I have been going to for the last 25 years. Also an interesting view of the French during WW2
Julia Stagg
An excellent account of the turbulent years in the Pyrenees from the impact of the Spanish Civil war, through to the Second World War.
Peter Jordan
May 27, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: ww2, spain, retirada, pyrenees
Very detailed account of the impact of the Retirada and WW2 on the Pyrenees Orientales.
Barbara Hailey
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Rosemary Bailey is an award-winning travel writer and journalist, born in Halifax, Yorkshire. She has been based in the French Pyrenees for many years, and has written a trilogy of books about a region she has grown to love and know intimately.