THE FORTUNES OF WAR by David Fraser

THE FORTUNES OF WAR

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KIRKUS REVIEW

In Blitz (1979), Fraser panned out over England's WW II home-front; here two war-crossed love affairs are set against the divided German home-front and fields of conflict from Russia to Tunisia. Anthony Marvell meets warmly sensitive German Frido von Arzfeld at Oxford--and their friendship ripens as Anthony and sister Marcia visit the Stuttgart-area estate of Frido's aristocratically stalwart father Kasper in 1938. So, despite evidence of Nazi Party ascendancy, Marcia falls in love with Frido's older brother Werner--deciding to remain in Vienna amid war rumblings. And meanwhile Anthony is adoring Anna Langenbach, a von Arzfeld relation whose husband (like Werner) will die in air-combat--while the other men soldier on: Frido's an officer in a Panzer Division in France; Anthony matures as a soldier in the British Army in Tunisia; and Toni Rudberg, Marcia's amusing Austrian suitor after Werner's death, becomes a major in the General Staff during the Sixth Army's woes on the Eastern front. The women toil on too, of course, in Germany--Marcia as a nurse, Anna as unwed mother (Anthony's child) and love/hate-object of a Nazi official. And the later war years will bring imprisonment for all three men, an execution for treason, a dating escape, and Anna's heroic concentration-camp death--while decent Germans defect, question, or try to evade the fact of Nazi atrocities. (Years later Anthony will wonder whether to reveal the truth about the parentage of Anna's son--and Marcia will remember the war years as terrible yet invigorating.) Tinted by twilight nostalgia: a sturdy, predictable run-through of all the WW II romance/heroism standbys.

Pub Date: April 29th, 1985
Publisher: Norton