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The Verdun Affair

A Novel

This book can be downloaded and read in Apple Books on your Mac or iOS device.


Across a continent still reeling from World War I, a “ravishingly beautiful” (Paula McClain) story about a love affair between two Americans and the lie that changes everything.

France, 1921—Tom, a young American orphaned in World War I, is working at an ossuary in Verdun, helping priests comfort families seeking answers about their loved ones. But nothing in his past—not his rough-and-tumble Chicago childhood nor his experiences driving ambulances across French battlefields—can prepare Tom for the arrival of Sarah Hagen. From the moment he sees her, a young woman in a blue dress desperate for news of her missing husband, he knows he will help her in any way he can.

As their affair takes them across a fractured Europe, Tom and Sarah reckon with the ways extraordinary circumstances impact the lives of ordinary people. They eventually part but when news of an amnesiac soldier in Naples reaches Tom in Paris, he sets off, only to find Sarah there, hopeful as ever, along with an Austrian journalist named Paul who has his own agenda. Years later, a chance encounter with Paul forces Tom, now a screenwriter in Hollywood, to confront his past—and the woman he’s never been able to forget.

A page-turning, vividly imagined, and deeply romantic novel about love and identity, truth and consequences, The Verdun Affair is a “literary romance…[that] unravels a love triangle and its players’ secrets” (Los Angeles Times). It will transport you to another place and time while asking the question: Who are you in a world you no longer recognize?

From Publishers Weekly

Apr 16, 2018 – Dybek's gripping second novel (after When Captain Flint Was Still a Good Man), a cleverly constructed page-turner, travels back and forth in time between a European continent devastated by World War I and 1950s Hollywood. Tom Combs is an American ambulance driver who stays on in the war's aftermath to work for a priest, collecting the bones of dead soldiers from the battlefields of Verdun. He falls in love with Sarah Hagen, a fellow American, but she has come to France looking for news of her "missing, believed dead" husband. Sarah goes off in search of information, and Tom takes a job as a journalist in Paris. They meet again in Bologna in 1922, when a soldier creates a sensation after showing up in a hospital there with no recollection of who he is. Sarah believes the mysterious soldier is her husband, though others have reason to believe otherwise. Years later, Tom, working in Hollywood, comes across Paul, a fellow journalist from those heady days in Italy, and, reliving their unresolved past, they discover each entertains a different version of the truth. Dybek is a master at creating an atmosphere of war, of decadence amid the rubble, and at dipping in and out of history, teasing the reader with beguiling clues concerning the secrets each character harbors about the amnesiac. Dybek's novel is a complex tale of memory, choice, and the sacrifices one sometimes makes by doing the right thing.

Customer Reviews


As an avid, voracious reader, I was tortured by this book. It was incredibly boring and drawn out with unimportant details. The storyline was flat and uninspiring. The critics who raves about this book are worthless in their judgement. Would not recommend this to anyone! I couldn’t wait to finish it and raced through it as best as possible...

The Verdun Affair
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  • $12.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Historical
  • Published: Jun 12, 2018
  • Publisher: Scribner
  • Print Length: 304 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: This book can only be viewed on an iOS device with Apple Books on iOS 12 or later, iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

Customer Ratings