Mira, Dec 2001, 5.99, 448 pp.
In 1917, fraternal twins Angus and Gavin MacLeod fight side by side in the trenches in France when a German grenade strikes their foxhole. A badly wounded Gavin turns to Angus for comfort, but his brother stands frozen a mindless victim of battle fatigue syndrome. Angus is transferred to a medac facility where he meets his brother's fiancÚ Flora Finley, a nurse. A guilt-stricken Angus informs Flora that Gavin died on the battlefield. Not long afterward, Angus returns to Scotland to inform his family of his twin's death. Angus and Flora marry, but unbeknownst to both Gavin survives his ordeal, loathing his brother for failing. Gavin goes to America without informing anyone he lives.
In the 1930's, a wealthy Gavin works to undermine Hitler. However, revenge towards his sibling still angers him. When he sees Flora for the first in years, Gavin knows he still loves her. He also worries that she or his family will recognize him though two decades have passed since everyone believed he died and compromise his mission.
Though the novel spans most of the twentieth century and ends in the nineties, the tale mostly takes place from World War I to World War II with Gavin being the prime focus. The story line is character-driven, but contains action to keep most readers satisfied. A relatively newcomer, Fiona Hood-Stewart provides a strong soul searching novel.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner