My dear................... (insert name, or mother, brother, wife etc)
I wanted to tell you ....................(that I am alive/well/injured but alive etc)
So for my November anniversary read I chose a non-fiction book - A Foriegn Field by Ben MacIntyre - a journalist who finds a hardly known story and gives it to you complete, research done, and very readable. You might like to try Agent ZigZag for a riveting tale of WW2.
But with A Foreign Field MacIntyre brings to you a story that is very definitely not fiction, Those written about really did exist, and this small book (261 pages excluding bibliography, notes and index) will tell you not only the truth about a small assorted party of soldiers trapped in occupied France, but also facts about the war in the area to the north east of the Somme that was totally devastated, how and why; about a small village which thrived on gossip, the personalities there, and what happened after those soldiers where taken in and hidden by the villagers. The number of total dead on all sides in WW1 is so large I have never been able to take it in - but reading this, I found myself stunned by the numbers who died in a day in several battles over the course of the war in this area. I found myself questioning what exactly was going on in Villeret and the other small villages around about. Towards the end of the book I found my questions answered in a satisfying way, even though mostly by questions the author asks i.e. what was he doing? did they know? why didn't they?
An excellent example of how good research tells a good story. Recommended, especially if you want to find out about a small place in a big war.