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Book Review

Publisher's Note:

Inspired by a true story, the bestselling author of In Country offers a gorgeous, haunting novel about an airline pilot coming to terms with his past, and searching for the people who saved him during World War II. After Marshall Stone's B-17 bomber was shot down in occupied Europe in 1944, people in the French Resistance helped him escape to safety. One of the brave French people who risked their lives for him was a lively girl in Paris—a girl identified by her blue beret. After the war Marshall returned to America, raised a family, and became a successful airline pilot. He tried to forget the war. Now, in 1980, he returns to France and finds himself drawn back in time—memories of the crash, the terror of being alone in a foreign country where German soldiers were hunting down fallen Allied aviators, the long months of hiding. Marshall finds the people who helped him escape from the Nazis and falls in love with the woman who was the girl in the blue beret. He also discovers astonishin…

The Girl in the Blue Beret

by Bobbie Ann Mason

Overall Book Review:

“He was in the midst of the greatest undertaking in human history. He was in the middle of either the greatest victory or the greatest catastrophe ever known. Or both.”

Inspired by true events, The Girl in the Blue Beret is a moving account of a downed World War II pilot and those who save him. The story is told from the pilot’s point of view and unfolds in bits and pieces, with much of the tale occurring during the 1980’s. Author Bobbie Ann Mason’s impeccable historical research shines a much-needed spotlight on the inner workings of the brave French Resistance. While the story flows with beautiful prose and interesting details, a vague ending and grating protagonist make The Girl in the Blue Beret difficult to love.  

This book was sent to Compass Book Ratings for review by Random House

Content Analysis:

Profanity/Language: 6 religious exclamations, 26 mild obscenities, 3 religious profanities, 4 derogatory names, 2 scatological words, 6 anatomical terms and 2 f-word derivatives.

Violence/Gore: Most of the violence in the book involves characters reminiscing about their wartime experiences. These experiences touch on time in a concentration camp, where infants were drowned, inmates were beaten, and others were shot. A character recalls his plane crash and the injuries his crew sustained. Scenes of violence include a character being thrown against a wall, a plane being fired at and hearing others being tortured. In numerous non-detailed scenes of violent death, people are shot or burned by the enemy and crew members die in a plane crash. 

Sex/Nudity: A few scenes with kissing; several sexual references; an incident of caressing; several implied or reported accounts of sexual activity; one incident of sexual activity between adults without explicit details. 

Mature Subject Matter:

War, murder, Holocaust, adultery, sacrifice.

Alcohol / Drug Use:

Frequent smoking and drinking.

Overall Book Rating

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About the Reviewer

My mother was the one who sparked my love of books. Long before school instruction, she sat me down and taught me to read. My childhood was filled with trips to the library and bookmobile to find great books. My first loves were The Little House series by Laura Ingalls Wilder and the Pippi Longstocking series by Astrid Lingren. Now as a mom and speech pathologist, I am constantly looking for good, clean books to use at home and in therapy. I enjoy reading many different genres, but my favorites are usually historical fiction. I married my best friend, the “boy next door”, and we have a beautiful little girl who we often find sprawled out on the floor, flipping through picture books. Together our family likes to swim, run and play tennis. Besides reading, I also love to bake, garden and travel.