HOW SLEEP THE BRAVE by Catherine Gavin


Email this review


Third in Gavin's instructional trilogy about the anti-de Gaulle resistance movement inside occupied France during World War II, this winds up the activities of lawyer Jacques Brunel and his cousin Mike Marchand. Jacques, now settled with American wife Sally as a ""respectable"" lawyer, continues to organize and direct a group of resisters, including a rugged core of very young men. Marchand, switched from RAF combat to Photographic Aerial Reconnaissance, at last is able to marry Brazilian Dina; and they settle in Corsica, now liberated, where Dina expects a child. There is action: rails and fuel dumps exploded, transports interrupted as the Allies painfully advance. There is a terrible massacre--Jacques' sister Marcelle narrowly escapes death while her doctor husband (whom Jacques has considered somewhat of a collaborator) finally shows his true patriotic colors. Sally is taken into custody by the Gestapo, is rescued by Jacques, and finally Marchand is killed in an air fight, sacrificing himself to kill an old Nazi enemy. Gavin, a British WW II correspondent, knows this territory (1943-1945), and her well-researched attacks on de Gaulle are convincingly--and constantly--rolled out. But whether or not the true saviors of France were really anti-Gaullists like Jacques and Marchand, they're just placard heroes here--so this is weak indeed as fiction, and only those eager to ponder Gavin's non-fiction values will want to wade through her three volumes of middling fact/fiction.

Pub Date: June 20th, 1980
Publisher: St. Martin's