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A vivid tale of romance, adventure, and intrigue, Gifts of War is a remarkable novel that explores what made War World I so tragic and revolutionary.
During the Christmas Truce of 1914, Hal Montgomery makes a pact with a German soldier that will change his life—he promises to find his enemy’s English girlfriend, Sam, and let her know her fiancé is alive. But things take an unexpected turn when Hal falls in love with Sam himself. As their romance blossoms, she shares her most private confidence: Her newborn son is of German lineage, information that threatens her reputation and her job as a schoolteacher. Fearful that he will lose Sam, Hal holds tight to the secret that brought them together. But fashioning a family life proves precarious when it is founded on a lie.
“The best war stories are often love stories, and Mackenzie Ford has come up with a doozy. . . . An absorbing, morally complex read.” —USA Today
“Superb. . . . A spy thriller-within-a-literary novel. . . . The war scenes, the love angle, the Switzerland undercover operation and the English war intelligence operation in London take turns capturing reader interest.” —San Antonio Express-News
“Ford combines the intrigue and tension of military intelligence with an affecting portrayal of a challenging love affair.” —Minneapolis Star Tribune
“Highlights the fates of ‘the lost generation’ of young people who lived in this tragic time.” —New York Post
“Keeps the reader on a knife’s edge as the lies build and the truth is only a word or misstep away.” —Library Journal (starred review)
“For anyone who enjoys reading about that era, Ford’s novel gives an accurate and sensitive portrayal of people feeling their way in a dark, disjointed world.” —Internet Review of Books
“This book is a joy to read. Wonderful period detail, and the atmosphere so convincing it had me looking out the window for zeppelins. The First World War—with its no-man’s land and valiant nurses—is disturbingly contrasted to the peaceful idyll of rural England. Even the touching love story, with a secret ticking away like a time bomb at its heart, has us on a knife-edge of uncertainty. And Ford provides fascinating details of thrills of the wartime intelligence world. I was swept up in this intimate and captivating story of conflicting loyalties. It’s the kind of read that lingers in the mind.” —Kate Furnivall, author of The Russian Concubine
“Ford evokes his West Country settings with quiet skill.” —The Scotsman
“Gifts of War is a passionate, engrossing page-turner—a full-blooded epic story of love, the corroding power of secrets, and a man at war with himself.” —Anthony Capella, author of The Food of Love
“A fine work of fiction-faithful to historical fact and romantic to its core. . . . [Ford] paints a vivid picture of the ferment of World War I and sets up an understanding of its effect on England's future.” —Booklist
“Set against the panorama of the First World War, Gifts of War is a poignant love story, a finely woven tapestry of choice, consequence and redemption. Mackenzie Ford explores the ambiguities of the human heart with an unwavering hand, and in so doing creates a haunting and moving tale that will resonate with the reader long after he or she has finished the last page.” —Pam Jenoff, international bestselling author of Almost Home and The Kommandant’s Girl