Hope, love and survival triumph against overpowering odds in this significant novel set in 1944 Nazi occupied France and Third Reich Germany during the turbulent final year of the Second World War. At the center of the novel’s three parts is the interwoven tale of five people, three of whom have a connection to the horrible event of June 10, 1944; the ruthless destruction of the village of Oradour-sur-Glane and massacre of nearly all of its inhabitants by a German Tank battalion.
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Claudine: A young woman who owns a bookshop in southwestern France is secretly working for the Resistance. Her flirtation with an SS officer to secure information valuable to the Allies almost costs her her life. Claudine’s real love is for Adam, an American OSS officer. Her many odysseys finally lead her home to her parents – in Oradour.
Adam: The rich, young American OSS officer who falls in love with Claudine while both are working together in the Resistance. He and his closest friend, Jacques, create as much havoc and destruction as they can against the Germans throughout southwestern France in order to aid the Allies. In one terrorizing episode they race to try to save Claudine’s life just as the SS officer intends to brutally harm her. Adam then bids her farewell until the war is over, sending her home to what he believes will be a safe haven – in Oradour.
Michael: The narrative shifts to Paris during the last months of the city’s occupation. Michael/Michel, a British/French spy is a popular singer in French music halls. He is also, secretly, a homosexual and receives the most dangerous assignment of his career when he is ordered to have an affair with Gunthar, a Nazi officer working in the top echelon at occupation headquarters. Michael’s task; find out about Hitler’s plans for the evacuation of Paris. Will the top German commander in charge save the city or will he do as demanded by his master in Berlin and burn it to the ground? Michael is engaged in another secretive and dangerous activity; he’s hiding his true love, Francois, a French Jew, in the apartment building he owns.
Yvette: A young singer on the music hall bill with Michael is also living a double life, helping Adam when he comes to Paris on a Resistance mission to try to save the city after finding no trace of Claudine in the ruins – of Oradour. Emil: An SS colonel in the Das Reich Panzer Division must come to terms with the realities of evil and the choices he must make as his division moves toward Normandy to repel the Allied invasion. During his journey he is ordered on a personal inspection of the appalling events – at Oradour. Later, in Munich during the last days of the war, his most pressing effort is getting his father, a ruthless hanging judge of the People’s Court, and mother out of Germany through Switzerland before the Allies can seize them. Emil also has his own dark secret for wanting to escape from Germany.
Tears Enough For All incorporates both fictional and real people from the era, concluding two years after the war’s end as the main characters face final resolutions in their lives. This is an important book set against the most critical historical landscape of the twentieth century.