A Very Long Engagement

A Novel

Sébastien Japrisot; Translated by Linda Coverdale

Picador

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Set during and after the First World War, A Very Long Engagement tells the story of a young woman's search for her fiancé, whom she believes might still be alive despite having officially been reported as "killed in the line of duty." Unable to walk since childhood, fearless Mathilde Donnay is undeterred in her quest as she scours the country for information about five wounded French soldiers who were brutally abandoned by their own troops. A Very Long Engagement is a mystery, a love story, and an extraordinary portrait of life in France before and after the War.

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Book Excerpts

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SATURDAY EVENING

Once upon a time, there were five French soldiers who had gone off to war, because that's the way of the world.
The first soldier, who in his youth had been a cheerful, adventurous lad, wore around his neck an identification tag marked 2124, the number assigned to him at a recruiting office in the department of Seine. On his feet were boots taken from a dead German, boots that sank into the mud of trench after trench as he plodded through the godforsaken maze leading to the front lines.
All five of the soldiers were bound for the front.

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Reviews

Praise for A Very Long Engagement

"Riveting...A fierce, elliptical novel that's both a gripping psychological thriller and highly moving meditation on the emotional consequence of war." ---Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times

"A kind of latter-day War and Peace...This is a book that is many things: a war story, a story of official corruption, an idyll of young summer love, and a rich and most original panorama of French men and women living in peace and robbed of it. Finally, giving it all an intent energy, it is a hybrid of the detective story and the classical quest." ---Richard Eder, Los Angeles Book Review

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About the Author

Sébastien Japrisot; Translated by Linda Coverdale

Sébastien Japrisot was the pen name of Jean Baptiste Rossi. He wrote seven novels, including One Deadly Summer, The Sleeping Car Murders, The Passion of Women, and The Lady in the Car with Glasses and a Gun.

Sébastien Japrisot

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Available Formats and Book Details

A Very Long Engagement
A Novel
Sébastien Japrisot; Translated by Linda Coverdale

Trade Paperback

Trade Paperback
Picador
November 2004
Trade Paperback
ISBN: 9780312424589
ISBN10: 0312424582
5 1/2 x 8 1/4 inches, 336 pages
$16.00

Abridged Digital Audio

Abridged  Digital Audio
Macmillan Audio
November 2004
Abridged Digital Audio
ISBN: 9781593976088
ISBN10: 1593976089
Audio Run Time: 5:30
$12.99

Unabridged Digital Audio

Unabridged  Digital Audio
Macmillan Audio
November 2004
Unabridged Digital Audio
ISBN: 9781593975678
ISBN10: 1593975678
Audio Run Time: 10:00
$19.99
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