Forget Me Not encompasses life in Australia and France in the 1980s as well as on the Great War battlefields of the Somme and in occupied France during World War II. For Australians the wars of the twentieth century were always ‘over there’. Australians lost their soldiers and nurses but their homes were, for the most part, safe. French families lost everything: their children, their towns and their livelihoods. Very little is available in English about their experiences so I wanted to write about them. With the centenary commemorations for the events and battles of World War I approaching in 2014 and beyond, this novel, with its focus on one soldier’s tragedy is a timely reminder of the greater horrors of war.
Forget Me Not charts a woman’s journey of self-discovery while researching the mystery of her grandfather’s presumed death during the assault on Mont Saint-Quentin in northern France at the end of August 1918. The story Rose uncovers is more shocking and ultimately more wonderful than anything she could have expected to find.
Readers lap up everything written about France in general and Provence in particular but my heart is in the mountains. While researching the history of the Savoyard people, I chanced upon material relating to the loss and recovery of Chambéry’s Centenary Monument, known affectionately as La Sasson. Her remarkable story enabled me to link Australia to France, World War I to the present day.
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