Lent to me by huskyteer, A Very Long Engagement by Sebastien Japrisot has been on my TBR shelf for quite a while. Then when I was wondering what to read next a friend seized upon it with rapture; I took her advice and got stuck in. Everyone is right: it's terrific. Five French soldiers in the First World War have been court martialled for self mutilation and are sentenced to a worse death than the firing squad would give them. But what really happened? Mathilde, the young 'white widow' of one of the men is determined to find out and as she progresses in her researches each man's tale is told. Beautifully written, the war details wonderfully atmospheric, this is surprisingly page-turning for a story that is gripping yet told without urgency.