A Midnight Clear: A Novel

Front Cover
HarperCollins, Jun 30, 1999 - Fiction - 241 pages
3 Reviews

Set in the Ardennes Forest on Christmas Eve 1944, Sergeant Will Knott and five other GIs are ordered close to the German lines to establish an observation post in an abandoned chateau. Here they play at being soldiers in what seems to be complete isolation. That is, until the Germans begin revealing their whereabouts and leaving signs of their presence: a scarecrow, equipment the squad had dropped on a retreat from a reconnaissance mission and, strangest of all, a small fir tree hung with fruit, candles, and cardboard stars. Suddenly, Knott and the others must unravel these mysteries, learning as they do about themselves, about one another, and about the "enemy," until A Midnight Clear reaches its unexpected climax, one of the most shattering in the literature of war.

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User Review  - cathymoore - LibraryThing

A haunting novel about US GIs in the Ardennes forest towards the end of WW2. This is really character driven and the fear and confusion of the young men who were really little more than boys during the war makes for a story that stays with you long after you have finished reading it. Read full review


User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

??Wharton's previous novels—Birdy, Dad—have treated the extraordinary and the strangely angled with such quiet ordinariness that one reads this seemingly plain WW II story waiting for the catch—the ... Read full review

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About the author (1999)

William Wharton (19252008) is the pen name of a painter who launched a writing career after the age of 50, winning a National Book Award for his first novel, Birdy, in 1978. He went on to publish seven more novels (Dad, A Midnight Clear, Scumbler, Pride, Tidings, Franky Furbo, and Last Lovers) and two memoirs (Ever After and Houseboat on the Seine).

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