An exquisite love story of an English girl in France.
the flight her client cried to her: "Why do you wait?"
Enormous American guns, trailed behind lorries driven by pink-faced boys swayed from side to side on the greasy road, and threatened to crush her like an egg-shell.
Everywhere she saw a wild disregard for life, everywhere she winced before the menace of speed, of weight, of thundering metal.
In the late afternoon, returning home in the half-light, she overtook a convoy of lorries driven by Annamites.
Hooting with her horn she crept past three lorries and drew abreast of the fourth; then, misjudging, she let the tip of her low mudguard touch the front wheel of the foremost lorry. The touch was so slight that she had passed on, but at a cry she drew up and looked back. The lorry which she had touched was overhanging the edge of the road, and its radiator, striking a tree, had dropped down into the valley below. Climbing from her car she ran back and was instantly surrounded by a crowd of Annamites who chirped and twittered at her
I was intrigued to see these two books by Enid Bagnold. Although she was an extremely successful playwright her only well remembered work now is National Velvet, and that only because of the film. I loved National Velvet as a girl, and still love it, it is a beautifully written, strange, poetic book.
This book is wonderful, a neglected classic. The images of France after the First World War are amazing, the tottering ruins of Verdun, the weird gaiety of Metz where the Alsations are wooed by the French with cream cakes. The heroine drives French and Russian officers on the perilous roads around Metz, and falls in love. I haven't finished it yet, but I urge you to read this book.