Monday, 14 March 2011
A stricken field (Gellhorn) 206
Although I have another Martha Gellhorn book on my longer-term VMC TBR, I decided to pick up the one that arrived in my batch of books from Awesome books a few weeks ago - A stricken field. Unfortunately, not only did it take me a while to get through, it took me somewhat longer to get around to writing about it.
The book is based on Gellhorn's own experiences as a journalist during the Second World War in Prague. It starts with the Munich Pact and the subsequent issues, with the invasion of the Germans and the deportations to concentration camps. The story is told by a character Mary, who becomes involved with those suffering under Nazi rule and attempting to do her own bit to resist fascism.
I am often interested in reading wartime memoirs, particularly things like An interrupted life, or Christabel Bielenberg's The past is myself. But somehow, a novel influenced by personal experiences just didn't seem to draw me in. If it had been a memoir maybe I would have liked it somewhat more. Mary is certainly brave but I found myself wondering more and more about Gellhorn's experiences than in staying with the story.
It's just been published once by Virago with an original green cover.