In Pale Battalions

In Pale Battalions Six months after her husband s sudden death Leonora Galloway sets off for a holiday in Paris with her daughter Penelope At last the time has come when secrets can be shared and explanations begin The

  • Title: In Pale Battalions
  • Author: Robert Goddard
  • ISBN: 9780552132817
  • Page: 134
  • Format: Paperback
  • Six months after her husband s sudden death, Leonora Galloway sets off for a holiday in Paris with her daughter Penelope At last the time has come when secrets can be shared and explanations begin Their journey starts with an unscheduled stop at the imposing Thiepval Memorial to the dead of the Battle of the Somme near Amiens Amongst those commemorated is Leonora s faSix months after her husband s sudden death, Leonora Galloway sets off for a holiday in Paris with her daughter Penelope At last the time has come when secrets can be shared and explanations begin Their journey starts with an unscheduled stop at the imposing Thiepval Memorial to the dead of the Battle of the Somme near Amiens Amongst those commemorated is Leonora s father The date of his death is recorded as 30th April, 1916 But Leonora wasn t born until 14th March 1917 Penelope at once supposes a simple wartime illegitimacy as the clue to her mother s unhappy childhood and the family s sundered connections with her aristocratic heritage, about which she has always known so little But nothing could have prepared her, or the reader, for the extraordinary story that is about to unfold.

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    1. Then, scanning all the o'ercrowded mass, should youPerceive one face that you loved heretofore,It is a spook. None wears the face you knew.Great Death has made all his for evermore.Waterlogged trench in WWIIn 1916, Captain John Hallows is reported killed in action in the Flanders fields of World War One. His death is only the first piece in a puzzle that takes decades for his daughter to ascertain the identity of her parents and the roles played by the constellation of people surrounding the eve [...]

    2. Six months following her husband's death, 70-year old Leonora Galloway takes her daughter, Penelope, on vacation to Paris but with a few unscheduled stops. The first is to Thievpal, site of the Memorial to the Missing of the Somme where her father, Captain John Hallows, perished in World War I. This begins Leonora's tale of her life's odyssey amidst her family's secrets, shared with her daughter for the first time. This is a tragic story told beautifully in an almost poetic style. The words matt [...]

    3. Mmm, mmm, mmm! I'm smackin' my lips! Juicy! This was just delectable. I don't even like British mysteries, but I loved this one. I was torn between wanting to devour it and not wanting to finish it too fast. Intricately plotted, perfectly paced, and richly detailed. Full of the right mix of lovable and hatable characters. Secrets within secrets, double-backs and double-crosses. The fun never ends, right up to the very last page. Even when you figure out some of the secrets before you get to them [...]

    4. Robert Goddard is one of those writers who knows how to tell a story. I have read a number of his books over the years. This is one of his earlier novels which I bought for my husband, but one day when I was desperate for a good read, I picked it up. Goddard is one writer we both agree on. The story sucked me right in from the first line of the prologue. ’This is the day and this the place where a dream turns a corner and a secret is told.’ Who could resist an opening like that? I sure could [...]

    5. Possibly my most favorite contemporary author is Robert Goddard, a British mystery writer. He is a master storyteller and provides not only a twist at the end of the tale but keeps you twisting the whole way Goddard’s novels are spellbinding. He is fabulous at developing, sympathetic characters and his heroes are often unlikely, slightly downtrodden but very real people you can relate to. Goddard studied History at Cambridge and worked as a journalist before becoming a novelist and many of his [...]

    6. Oh so many secrets! A very good mystery and even when you think all is revealed, you turn a corner and find that perhaps not all is as it seems. Takes place from about 1916-1970.

    7. Oh what a tangled web we weaveI really liked this, a part 'who's the daddy?' and part 'who's the killer?' mystery which starts during WWI and slowly unravels over the next seventy years. After the first few chapters I rather smugly thought I'd worked out what had happened, but all my theories were unceremoniously dumped by the wayside as one by one by all the murky secrets and lies of this dysfunctional family were revealed. Although I was a little disappointed that (view spoiler)[wicked Olivia [...]

    8. It is difficult to be so subtle and so dazzling at the same time, but Robert Goddard pulls it off in this mesmerizing novel. Once again, Goddard's mastery of the language alone makes the book a joy to read, and confirms my feeling that British writers -- Simon Mawer and Rennie Airth are other examples -- have an edge over us Americans when it comes to language. Chaucer and Shakespeare are lurking in their descriptions, their dialogue.In Pale Battalions also has a finely crafted plot. It is part [...]

    9. I had mixed feelings about this book. It was not what I had expected. It is a murder mystery with lots of twists and turns.I found the first 150 pages of the book a struggle and many times I thought I would just put it down but reading the other reviews of the book helped me continue on to the end.This is a murder mystery set within a family home which takes place around the first world war. I found this book lacking as I had expected more war references and think that Goddard shied away from th [...]

    10. I came across Goddard in my first publishing job before he was published in the US, and was instantly entranced. Every word is so carefully chosen and every scene so deliberately set - it requires close attention not to miss the clues he drops along the way, and his plots are so intricate it is not always easy to stay caught up but it is well worth the effort!

    11. Wow, what a tight plot: one of the best I've ever read in a mystery! Setting is the 20th century; the story takes us from the First World War to the 1970s, from the muddy fields and war monument "Missing of the Somme" of France and another monument in Belgium to all different locations in Britain: the estate of a Lord Powerstock, Meongate, from Portsmouth, Isle of Wight, Cornwall, to London. The story opens as Leonora Galloway takes her daughter, Penelope, to the Somme monument. Leonora wishes t [...]

    12. I’ve read that some people believe the early Robert Goddard books superior to the later ones and, having found Robert Goddard through “Into the Blue” I was very keen to read “In Pale Battalions” as this is his second book, written in 1988. I have to say I do agree with the comment, but not for the reasons that others cite. The quality of the writing in “In Pale Battalions” is quite beautiful and the construction of the story extremely clever. That this is only Goddard’s second no [...]

    13. Another engrossing read from Goddard. As is often the case this is a convoluted, psychological slow-burn book! It is not technically crime or a thriller although it has elements of both.In this one we follow Franklin a young soldier from WW1 who gets injured and is sent to convalesce at the large estate of his commanding officer who has just been killed in the trenches. The widow is obviously distressed but is also afraid, the father is detached and seems to ignore the evil going on in his house [...]

    14. Terrific, layered story with a murder mystery within it, but so much more going on. I'll be looking for other books by Robert Goddard after enjoying this one so much.

    15. In Pale Battalions starts with two women, mother and daughter, visiting a 1st World War grave in northern France. The mother, Leonora, points out the date on her own father's gravestone. It indicates he couldn't actually have been her father. And so the story begins, starting with the story of Leonora's life, growing up with her villainous step-grandmother, who makes the girl's doubtful parentage clear and her life hell. It's clear to Leonora that there's some sort of mystery surrounding the cir [...]

    16. This was a very good mystery--a very good work of historical fiction--and a very good melodrama. It was a page turner, although you can turn the page slowly, but you still want to see what happens next! Death and romance and evil set against the background of World War I make this book an excellent choice for those who want to step back to the time when books were read slowly! It is one of the few books where I not only wanted to see what occurs on the next page but had to go back a few pages an [...]

    17. Despite its sensationalist plot, this book felt very bloodless to me. Its characters, pawn-like, act with an almost somnolent fatalism. The hovering omniscience of the narrator occasionally breaks out into asides. There is a Good Woman and a Bad Woman. I'm sure that a not-insignificant factor in my disappointment in this very plot-driven novel is that, in many ways, it's the kind of thing I *should* like, and do like. I'm a sucker for books about the unreliability of narrative and the power of s [...]

    18. Ce livre m’a donné envie de lire un Wilkie Collins. Ça en dit long. J’ai liquidé ce gros pavé en une journée et une petite soirée. La 4e ne ment pas, n’exagère pas. L’histoire est passionnante, l’intrigue ficelée à l’anglaise, avec de multiples rebondissements parfaitement dosés et organisés, je confirme l’aspect littéralement hypnotique du roman. Impossible de rester trop longtemps sans savoir le fin mot de l’histoire.La première et principale narratrice relate à s [...]

    19. This was not the book I expected. It wasn't a war story or about soldiers except incidentally. It was a sordid story about sordid people told in a convoluted manner by multiple unreliable narrators, all with the same voice. I wanted to toss it to the side at multiple points during the first 100 pages but ended up continuing after reading the glowing reviews. I'll just add them to the long list of confusing shit that constituted this read.

    20. The very best book. In the world. This book just appealed to me when I found it in the library in the late 1980s. The story sounded good and when I read it I was blown out of the water by the story. The writing appeals to me the way that layers are formed on an onion. Fascinating story. Fantastic writing. Perfection in writing.

    21. I was gripped from the tantalizing opening line from the prologue of this book:"This is the day and this the place where a dream turns a corner and a secret is told."Read my full review at: leftontheshelfbookblogspo

    22. Loved this book Just new to Robert Goddard and he does not disappoint ! Great mystery and every time I thought I had it solved another twist came from nowhere.

    23. I ended up really enjoying this book - it was stories within stories, with a gothic edge to it, full of secrets and twists, some surprising, some not, but all told with flair.

    24. A tale of shifting narration set primarily in England during the First World War, this book has everything in it: love, loss, murder, layered alliances, betrayals, surprises, evil relations, multi-generational strife, etc. If I had not at several points wearied of "and now person X tells his/her story in the first person" and wished for a third person narration, I would have given it five stars. It is definitely a page turner with a plot that continues to unfold and shift so as to never stagnate [...]

    25. It’s frightening to think of this, Goddard’s second novel, as a quarter of a century old, but it was indeed published in 1988 – it’s vintage. Its setting is even older, going back to that unforgettable First World War. Poignantly, it takes its title from a sonnet whose author died in 1915, the year Goddard’s own great-uncle was declared missing, presumably killed in action. The book is dedicated to him.And what a fine memorial it is. In Pale Battalions confirms Goddard’s talent for t [...]

    26. Everyone has a few skeletons hidden in their closets but Leonora Galloway-Hallows has a whole cemetery behind those doors. Born and raised in a well to do family and married an aristocratic man. After the marriage she lived in the grand estate of Meongate in 1917 where she was surrounded by hostile or indifferent people. Her father, Captain John Hallows was killed in the Battle at the Somme and her mother died shortly after her birth. Leonora’s grandfather, Lord Powerstock and his second wife [...]

    27. This is another superb book by Goddard. His books are invariably filled with unnexpected plot twists -- though I confess that I anticipated the final twist long before it came. But this one has more than most. Some may find the use of multiple first person narrative confusing. With a less skilled story teller, I surely would. And closer study may reveal some contradictions in the narrative as a consequence of that means of development. But it worked very well with me.I do recommend that you not [...]

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