Stella Bain

Stella Bain

A Novel

Book - 2013
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"An epic story, set against the backdrop of World War I, from bestselling author Anita Shreve. When an American woman, Stella Bain, is found suffering from severe shell shock in an exclusive garden in London, surgeon August Bridge and his wife selflessly agree to take her in. A gesture of goodwill turns into something more as Bridge quickly develops a clinical interest in his houseguest. Stella had been working as a nurse's aide near the front, but she can't remember anything prior to four months earlier when she was found wounded on a French battlefield. In a narrative that takes us from London to America and back again, Shreve has created an engrossing and wrenching tale about love and the meaning of memory, set against the haunting backdrop of a war that destroyed an entire generation. "-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York : Little, Brown and Company, 2013
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780316098861
Characteristics: 265 pages ; 25 cm
Alternative Title: Stella Bain


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CRRL_MegRaymond Jul 25, 2017

During WWI, a London doctor and his wife find a “shell-shocked” American woman in their garden, with no memory of who she is, or how she got there.

Jan 30, 2017


Sep 29, 2015

An interesting book and a good mystery. I would rate it PG

Feb 23, 2015

Anita Shreve is always a good read. Her story line & writing flows so easily, keeping me interested.

Jun 18, 2014

A quiet yet powerful novel of a woman's experences during WWI. Attacked by her brutal husband she flees to the war and become an ambulance driver. Extreme experiences cause her to lose her memory which she eventually recovers with the help of a doctor in London. After she remembers who she is she returns to America to try to regain custody of her children. Shreve writes in a kind of minimalist style yet the book is full and rich and ultimately satisfying.

Jane60201 Apr 28, 2014

A fast and pleasant read. The setting and story were very creative and unusual but toward the end it resolved in kind of a trite fashion.

Mar 28, 2014

A friend recommended this book. I cannot recall who but am pleased for it. A fast read, interesting. During WWI an American woman flees, or perhaps it is more appropriate to say escapes, the violent confines of her prison-like home and abusive husband - an act, by default, that results in her also leaving behind her two young children. Unsure where to go and not knowing just how far away "safe" will be...she finds a temporary answer when a posted billet calls out to her "wartime help needed along the European front." She becomes a VAD, learning her nursing skills boat wise during the voyage over seas. This is a tale of her journey with complexities interwoven; a women of that century with limited rights, the traumatic face of war, a mothers loss, an abused wive's fears...broken relationships, personal self discovery. She finds herself, loses herself, hates herself, heals herself. We have rape accusations, custody battles, ambulance runs through muck and blood, an orangery, doctors, tin faces, private schools, shell shock, lost memories, broken hearted children, shrapnel both real and mental...uniforms, the admiralty, love, deceit, longing and resolve. I recommend this story.

Feb 07, 2014

Anita Shreve is a master of words. This novel, set during WWI, tells of woman who has lost her memory. Found nearly dead in France, she takes a name (Stella Bain), an occupation (volunteer nurse and ambulance driver), and a mission (discovering her identity). As she discovers who she is ("I have children"), the author reveals Stella/Etna's past and seeks to redeem her future. As I read this book, I realized that when one reads a master crafts person, the words each take a succinct meaning. I loved this book, not only for the beautifully written story and characters, but also for the joy of words used so eloquently to tell it.

Jan 10, 2014

I enjoyed listening to this audiobook. The reader was very good. The story was interesting to me because I've always been curious about the Great War.

Note:I was surprised that none of the professional reviewers "connected the dots" and mentioned that "Stella Bain" is a prequel/sequel to the author's, "All He Ever Wanted" (2003) and includes most of the same characters. Don't they read the books they review?

mayfairlady Dec 27, 2013

Love the writing. Can always depend on a good story from Anita Shreve.

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