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  • Writer's pictureJoan Fernandez

Dare Not Tell

By Elaine Aucoin Schroller

Electric witty vulnerability and sexual tension.

Brilliant beginning: The seed of a secret is slid skillfully into the banter within a bathtub. We’re introduced to Sophie and Joe, the story’s protagonists, who meet, retreat, separate and rejoin in this WWII love story. Their attraction–and the discovery of Joe’s secret–drives a quick-paced, twisting plot that includes a police investigation, suspicious actions of Hitler’s followers, tormenting nightmares of the frontline and more.

Set in wartorn Paris and the picturesque French Alps, author Schroller brings the mounting tension of the period between the two world wars to life. She gracefully inserts a huge backstory of the coalition contributions of Australian, British, Italian and American soldiers to help France turn the tide to Ally victory. Schroller’s ability to bring so many external elements together is impressive.

However, what I liked best–in the center of it all–was how her intimate portrayal of Sophie and Joe’s love affair brought to mind cinematic twosomes–Katherine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy, Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman–whose magnetic attraction of wit, sexual tension and vulnerability is electric. Perhaps we’ll see a sequel to Sophie and Joe’s romance?

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