PUBLICATION EXPECTED IN 2023
No Greater Love: A Novel of World War II
In the late summer of 1939, as France once more drifted into war a mother, anxious to spare her youngest son, starts him on a journey that does everything but.
Sent to live with his aunt and uncle in Normandy, young John-Paul Tesseraud avoids both conscription and the French authorities by assuming the identity of his cousin, Pauline Valery. The same attributes that caused his mother to fear for his safety, even at the hands of his fellow soldiers allows John-Paul to assume his new role with shocking ease. By the time France is forced to sue for peace, any thoughts of returning home to his former life are forgotten as John-Paul settles into a new life as Pauline, one that he finds to be a better fit for him than the one he left behind.
This new life is not without complications when Pauline finds that she has caught the attention of Erich Gerhart, a German soldier who has found something in Pauline that he has not felt for a long time—hope, the hope that even with the specter of defeat looming over Germany, he just might be able to emerge from this war with more than simply his life. To this end, he pursues Pauline with the determination and single mindedness that had, until then, been reserved only for his duties as a section sergeant assigned to the signal battalion of a panzer division.
Erich’s interest in Pauline does not go unnoticed by Henri Fabre, a member of the Resistance, who encourages Pauline to cultivate a relationship with Erich. Fearful of being branded as a collaborator and the discovery of her failure to answer her call to the colors in 1939 that would surely follow, Pauline gives in to Henri’s demands. What starts as an effort to avoid those problems turns into something quite unexpected as Pauline finds herself becoming infatuated with someone who is not only the enemy of her country, but ignorant of her past.
As Pauline attempts to carefully tread her way between the competing demands placed upon her by her duty to her country, her affections for Erich and the need to keep her true nature a secret, the coming Allied invasion of France brings the war her mother hoped to spare her from to Pauline’s very doorstep.