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Half In Shadow A Novel

Half In Shadow Summary

Half In Shadow A Novel From the bestselling author of In a Field of Blue comes an unforgettable novel about courage, love, and consequences at the dawn of World War I.

1915. In German-occupied Belgium, a tragic loss forces Josephine Descharmes to navigate dangerous new territory. By day it’s compliance, serving German officers at the Hotel Métropole. By night it’s resistance, working with her brothers underground to help Allied soldiers and civilians across the border into Holland. Both paths put her and her family at great risk.

As Josephine struggles to keep her family safe, Arthur, a grief-stricken English soldier trapped behind enemy lines, finds purpose and hope with Josephine and her work. Meanwhile, Franz, a German officer remorseful for the casualties of war, offers her protection and opportunity. These two men from opposing sides will open her heart and test her loyalties.

Amid the sorrows of war and threats of mortal danger and betrayal, Josephine must steer her own fate. In a country deprived of freedom, she will make an impossible choice—one that will forever impact the family she cherishes and the man she loves.

About the Author

Gemma Liviero is the author of the historical novels In a Field of BlueThe Road Beyond RuinHalf In Shadow, Broken Angels, and Pastel Orphans, which was a finalist for the 2015 Next Generation Indie Book Awards. In addition to novel writing, her professional career includes copywriting, corporate writing, writing feature articles and editorials, and editing. She holds an advanced diploma in arts (writing) and has continued her studies in arts and other humanities. Gemma lives with her family in Queensland, Australia.

Half In Shadow Summary Introduction

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Half in Shadow: A Novel


Yves is dead and Gisela has turned to stone. She has a photo in her hand that she isn’t looking at. Instead, she stares at the face of the baroque clock. It ticks louder since Yves has died, demanding attention in the house that is now filled with whispers. Sounds have died with Yves: doors slamming, running steps, minor pointless words, and arguments, the bustle of a thirteen-year-old boy, and a frustrated mother.

Josephine has prepared the eggs. She is the first to sit down at the table. She peels away pieces of cracked shell, dips a teaspoon into the yolk, and rubs the back of the scoop in a patch of sprinkled salt. She watches her mother stand up from the armchair and walk to the table mechanically. Her father enters the room and does the same, his black suspenders drooping at the sides of his trousers.

The tears Josephine has swallowed have formed a glutinous lump in the back of her throat, constructing a barricade against the food. It is different in the house as if they are too small for it, the house vast, rooms empty, people scattered. The walls now papered with tragedy, the outlook from every window bleak, and the air thick with disbelief.

Where is Eugène? No one asks. Though it was always asked before the previous week. He was hard to tie down, in and out of the house at all hours. Now they know he is a fixture in his bedroom, angry and plotting, and talking to himself, cursing the Boche.Yves had run. Why did he run? Josephine tries to remember the moments before he did: firecrackers, shouts, screams, her hand shading her eyes at the sight of a giant balloon in the sky.

When she'd looked down, he was lying still on the road, a tiny, dark hole growing larger on his back. He was gone, head turned on its side, eyes open, one arm curled around the top of his head. His small body was in the position he would lie in bed. It was a stray bullet, said the men with pointed hats, without regret. They had to be careful. There were franc-tires around every corner.

Yves had stopped holding Josephine’s hand. She missed his soft, hot, sometimes sticky grip. He had been at the age of wanting to stand on his own two feet, his toe on the first step toward manhood. Still wary of it: much hesitation, such a long way to climb. In the days before his death, he would reach for her hand when he wasn't thinking, then draw it back again when he became aware. He infuriated her but fascinated her also: clever, funny, serious, and angry in the space of a day.

We have to keep going, Gisela, Maurice said. The night before, Josephine had heard her parents talking in the bedroom below hers, catching only snatches of their conversation. What about Josephine? said her mother. Like Yves, she may
never get the chance . . .

Chance of what? Josephine wondered. Of love, most likely, of marriage, of children: her mother losing hope for a normal life for her family under occupation.

On Josephine’s birthday at the beginning of the year, Gisela had leaned forward with a damp cloth to wipe a stain from her daughter’s blouse.

You are a new woman today, she said.
I was a new woman yesterday also, said Josephine.
You have a smart mouth sometimes, but it is no good for an

unmarried girl of your age. Think before you speak; then maybe you
will find a husband.
Happy birthday, Mouse!
Xavier said to stop Josephine from responding, to prevent a quarrel.
Maman says I am an old maid.
He scoffed. She doesn’t mean a lot of what she
says. She is goading you into marriage. You are still young. You are
still of childbearing age.
Josephine pulled a face. Now you sound like Maman.
Xavier laughed softly.

He had been joking of course. He has always been the one who understands.
Xavier is a parent’s gift. He had trained to be a doctor and is now a priest, living and tutoring at the university. He is the oldest of four, then Eugène, then Josephine, then Yves, who was a mistake, a timing error as Gisela had called his conception because she always says exactly what is on her mind. Not like her father, whose thoughts are often directed into his coffee cup initially, and any words then distributed with care.

Her parents get up from the table and back to what they were
doing before. Yves is gone, and it seems he has taken them as well.
Josephine sinks beneath the bedcovers and listens to the darkness.
Hobnailed boots scrape the cobbles, trolleys clatter, horses trot, and
cannonade rumbles low in the distance. Voices somewhere,
conversations in German, raised and joyful. They have won this
round. A single shot sounds from somewhere in the town, and
Josephine flinches. The smell of scorched earth and sweat catches
on the breeze and contaminates her room.

Carry on! said the invaders. A few people were killed, and things can continue the same. Though much has changed. People aren't stupid. Posters are placed on public buildings, demanding order and threatening execution if there is any attempt to resist, even word of it. Rumour has it that women are being raped in villages, children killed. Rumors are like clay, they are told and shaped by the people who tell them. Get on with your day. There is nothing to see here, they say.

Yves’s bed lies abandoned under shifting moonlight. She stares his sheets, imagines a shape there. She had crept over to his bed earlier to lay her cheek against his pillow so she could keep him with
her during the day. Why did you let go of his hand, Josephine? The first questionasked by Eugène.She puts her head under the pillow, on a patch of tears that have not yet dried, to smother the whimpers of her mother and the

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Half In Shadow A Novel

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Product details:

EditionKindle Edition
Posted onJanuary 1, 2022
Page Count383 pages
AuthorGemma Liviero

Half In Shadow By Gemma Liviero PDF Book Free - HUB PDF

Half In Shadow A Novel From the bestselling author of In a Field of Blue comes an unforgettable novel about courage, love, and consequences at the dawn of World War I.

URL: https://amzn.to/3GPMXda

Author: Gemma Liviero

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