Nominated by:

Richmond Public Library, USA

Publisher of nominated edition:

Random House Inc., USA

The Girl in the Blue Beret

Bobbie Ann Mason    

Inspired by the wartime experiences of her father-in-law, Bobbie Ann Mason has crafted the haunting and profoundly moving story of an American World War II pilot shot down in Occupied Europe, and his wrenching odyssey of discovery, decades later, as he uncovers the truth about those who helped him escape in 1944.

At twenty-three, Marshall Stone was a confident, cocksure U.S. flyboy stationed in England, with several bombing raids in a B-17 under his belt. But when enemy fighters forced his plane to crash-land in a Belgian field during a mission to Germany, Marshall had to rely solely on the kindness of ordinary Belgian and French citizens to help him hide from and evade the Nazis. Decades later, restless and at the end of his career as an airline pilot, Marshall returns to the crash site and finds himself drawn back in time, unable to stop thinking about the people who risked their lives to save Allied pilots like him. Most of all, he is obsessed by the girl in the blue beret, a courageous young woman who protected and guided him in occupied Paris.

Framed in spellbinding, luminous prose, Marshall’s search for her gradually unfolds, becoming a voyage of discovery that reveals truths about himself and the people he knew during the war. Deeply beautiful and impossible to put down, The Girl in the Blue Beret is an unforgettable story—intimate, affecting, exquisite—of memories, second chances, and one intrepid girl who risked it all for a stranger. 

(From Publisher)

About the Author

Bobbie Ann Mason is the author of In Country, Shiloh and Other Stories, An Atomic Romance, Nancy Culpepper, and a memoir, Clear Springs. She is the winner of the PEN/Memingway Award, two Southern Book Awards, an award fro the American Acedemy of Arts and Letters, and numerous other prizes, including the O. Henry and the Pushcart. She was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, the American Book Award, the PEN/Faulkner Award, and the Pulitzer Prize. She lives in Kentucky.

Librarian’s Comments

A wonderful tale of a retired pilot who returns to France to reunite with his French rescuers when he was shot down on the French-Belgium border in 1944.

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