FIRST HARVEST by Vladimir Pozner


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The Edge of the Sword, Pozner's earlier novel, had a good press, and is memorable chiefly for its style and undertones, rather than its story. First Harvest has more pattern --one comes full circle in the course of the story, as the end of the book brings a repetition of a situation with which the plot was motivated. A homesick Bavarian soldier, longing for his own fields as he watches the French peasants working in theirs, deserts; such an act is not even recognized as a possibility and the accusation of murder is made, when his body is found, though circumstances point to an accidental fall in the mist. The village is the perfect scapegoat for a lesson to the conquered people, and an official from headquarters takes full advantage of the opportunity to vent his petty spite on the local junior officer, and his power on the terrified villagers. A segment of life under the German heel is caught and reflected in a pen portrait gallery -- German and French, little people, but revealing in sharp delineation. Not a book to read for its story -- but for the multiple stories behind the story. Pozner is a Frenchman, who escaped after France fell.

Pub Date: April 26th, 1943
Publisher: Viking