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On The Table Read Magazine, “the best book magazine in the UK“, the compelling two part story, When The War Was Over by David Stuart Robinson follows twenty year old Yveline’s life and love in World War I ravaged France.
When The War Was Over
In his beautiful and evocative two-part tale, When The War Was Over, author David Stuart Robinson’s passion for exploring the psychological and emotional sides of his characters comes through as they navigate life at the end of World War I in November 1918 in the southwest of France. This fascination with the whys and wherefores of the characters thoughts creates deliciously evocative layers and depth to the narrative, and an impressive ‘truth’ and honesty to the story.
David Stuart Robinson has published fourteen novels across different literary genres, with the two-parter When the War was Over made all the more tantalising as his alluring protagonist,Yveline, fights to make her mark on the world and find her true destiny.
It is November 1918, and twenty year old Yveline is living in a backwater of the southwest of war-ravaged France. Most men have not returned home from the front alive, leaving her with poor prospects for marriage, and employment prospects no better.
Denied a decent schooling, Yveline seems destined to live out a dull unfulfilling life. However, with her thirst for knowledge and education remains undiminished, she knows that if she is going to achieve anything, she must seek better fortune by leaving her village for somewhere bigger.
Dreaming of a future as a pioneering scientist, Yveline begins her quest for a university education. It does not prove easy as many obstacles are thrown in her path and she must fight against the male prejudice in a man’s world. But she is spirited and tenacious and impresses the people she comes into contact with.
Soon, Yveline falls in love with her married tutor, Bernard, who is trapped in a loveless marriage who falls in love with Yveline too. But Bernard would never risk losing his beloved daughter, who is his world, so their love cannot be admitted or acknowledged, even between themselves.
Their love has to remain secret. Until the day when it does not.
Yveline’s life remains complicated. Through hard work and immense natural ability she has accomplished a lot. For the first time, she has known love, with the married Bernard, while fellow-student Patrice is in love with her.
It is crunch-time for Bernard’s marriage as his wife, Germaine is threatening divorce and is not above using emotional blackmail. Bernard fears the scandal. Maybe she suspects the affection existing between her husband and Yveline.
Bernard’s daughter Philomène knows of the affair and wants to see her father and Yveline happy together. Yveline tries to get him to be strong and call Germaine’s bluff, but his nerve fails him and he returns to his wife, leaving Philomène to move in with Yveline. Already they are like sisters.
Unlikely to find another love in Paris, Yveline keeps her head down and completes the thesis for her doctorate, but after working so hard for six years she feels lost and uncertain of her future. She wants her to leave the metropolis and go home, but where is home now? It is no longer the village of her birth and her family.
She finds herself yearning for Patrice and his family, bus she has lost all contact with him and after all this time suspects he must be married by now, or at least on the verge of it. Nevertheless she makes the journey there. But what reception awaits?
David Stuart Robinson
My hope is to tell Yveline’s story with an understanding and sensitivity which illustrates that however driven we may be, there are certain aspects of life, for example whom we fall in love with, that are beyond our control.
And whilst charting her progression in the world, my intention was not for Yveline to change as such but to grow and evolve, almost become more herself, plus to fulfil her full academic and emotional potential.
I often place my principal characters, mostly women, in a dilemma, standing alone temporarily, needing inner courage. I like to chart their mental and emotional journey. I ask a lot of questions. I want to challenge my readership, to amuse them but also to make them think.
-David Stuart Robinson
David Stuart Robinson received a first class education at Manchester Grammar School before graduating with honours from Cambridge University. He went on to work in a variety of careers including insurance, IT, teaching abroad and conservation work, before becoming a private tutor of foreign languages and English, as well as writing fiction and making music.
A serious writer, Robinson does not write contemporary popular fiction, focusing his work on literature with original and interesting ideas. Inspired by authors such as D H Lawrence, Laurie Lee, Milan Kunder, each novel he writes is completely different, even belonging to different genres.
The common theme in Robinson’s novels is the exploration of human psychology, with a particular focus on feelings and emotions. His interest is in the exploration of our inner lives rather than the outer life, as he finds new and unusual angles to challenge conventional thinking.
Find more from David Stuart Robinson now:
Independently published, When the War was Over (Parts I & II) are available in paperback and Kindle format.
When The War Was Over Part 1: https://amzn.to/489YrXN
When The War Was Over Part 2: https://amzn.to/44yzMZB
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