By Caroline Seebohm
(Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, Hardcover, 9781565125001, 288pp.)
Publication Date: April 2007
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Aroused by the perils of the rest of the world, Dorothea and Iris decided to join the American Red Cross in France. Sent immediately to the battlefront, they became immersed in a daily struggle to help save lives, and when that wasn't possible, to at least make death less terrifying for the young French soldiers in their care. Beautiful and mysterious, the twin sisters were dubbed les anges, the angels, by the wounded men.
They charmed the Americans as well, among them a fighter pilot with whom Iris fell in love-- the first threat to the singular bond that held the sisters together. As the losses mounted, however, the link between the sisters grew stronger. Finally, when the battles ended, they awoke to the reality that the world they had known was forever gone, and home seemed a distant and alien place.
A powerful story of spiritual awakening, of innocence lost, and of the emotional toll of war, The Innocents is sure to appeal to readers of such outstanding historical novels as Regeneration by Pat Barker, Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks, and Rebecca West's classic The Return of the Soldier.