Half in Shadow by Gemma Liviero EPUB & PDF – eBook Details Online
- Status: Available For Free Download
- Genre: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense Literary Fiction, World War I Historical Fiction, Historical World War I Fiction
- Publish Date: 1 January 2022
- Size: 2 MB
- Format: PDF / EPUB
- Status: Avail for Download
- Price: Free
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
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
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.
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 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-tireurs 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.
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