When Penrose Dovingdon, a wealthy young officer, and his sister Juliette, a nurse and former debutante, arrive in France at the start of World War I, they have no idea that a notorious national scandal will drive their family apart.
The demands of war-torn France are a long way from high-society London, but brother and sister learn fast. World War 1 creates a series of moral and ethical dilemmas which they must navigate, as must the family of Étienne Guégan, Juliette's future husband.
Should one man be shot to save one million? Can corruption be justified when it is for a good cause? Should you forsake marrying the man you love in order to protect your brother's life? Should the law be broken to keep the family business alive and their community in jobs? Is there ever a good reason to become best friends with your husband's mistress?
Set against the battlefields of the western front and the vineyards of Bordeaux, this is a story of love, passion, betrayal, human resilience and endeavour as those involved struggle to come to terms with the hurt caused by events outside their control.
The Land of de Gressier is a thoroughly researched and well-crafted historical novel, with its various stories beautifully intermingled, involving strong, complex and engaging characters.
It is a gripping read.
“The Lands of de Gressier' is a pacy thriller. It’s a love story – first between brother and sister, then between wife and husband (and someone ). It’s got action, war, family tensions, court-room drama, intrigue, crime, murder, passion, love scenes, interludes in London and the USA, and an enjoyable detective... all set against the background, first of the horrific trenches of north-east France, and later the beautiful rolling vineyards of south-west France – what more could you want?!"
“The Lands of de Gressier is a brilliant book: a fast-moving story full of excitement, drama, crime, tragedy and love. We recommend it to everyone and urge you to buy a copy. It is a gripping ‘page-turner’ that will have you hooked, intent on finding out the next twist of the story.”
“One of the best written most interesting and riveting books I have read. I couldn't put it down (about 3 days reading at five to six hours a day). I found the various stories beautifully intermingled. Clearly well researched."
“We are a few weeks in 2021 yet, already, we have a clear contender for the best novel of the year: The Lands of de Gressier.”
“Little short of a masterpiece, The Lands of de Gressier is English literature at its best and without question one of 2021’s must-reads.”
“The Lands of de Gressier is the must-read novel for 2021. It is not just a good book. It is a great book."
“Not to put too fine a point on it, author C.S. Bunker’s debut novel, The Lands of de Gressier, could be the most enjoyable and rewarding novel you read this year.”
“Beautifully, masterfully written, it represents an example of modern English literature at its best and is, in this reviewer’s humble opinion, one of the 2021 must-reads.”
“Charles Bunker’s style is to write in very short chapters alternating back and forward between the main characters. If you’ve read All the light we cannot see by Anthony Doerr you’ll recognise the style – and that book won the 2015 Pulitzer Prize and spent 130 weeks at the top on the New York Times best seller list for fiction.”
“It definitely lives up to its billing of being a story of love, passion, betrayal and human endeavour.”
“Let me say first of all that The Lands of de Gressier is an utterly engrossing novel. I found it hard to put down. It has all the essential ingredients even the most demanding of readers would require.”
“This novel’s magnetic attraction is helped by its engaging central storyline and the numerous clever sub-plots. Together, they more than live up to the novel’s billing as a story of love, passion, betrayal and corruption.”
“The Story was well crafted with interesting plots and subplots, and strong and complex characters with whom the reader becomes easily engaged."
“20 years in the making, author C.S. Bunker’s debut novel, The Lands of de Gressier, is more than worth the wait…”
“As you would expect of a saga, real life historical figures and events are found throughout weaved seamlessly into the story. Bunker spent a staggering 20 years in constructing his masterpiece and it is abundantly clear from the intricate detail that much of that time was spent in research.”
“The Lands of de Gressier never flags across its 500 pages. An engaging storyline and clever subplots keep you hooked, while the author’s decision to relate events in short sharply focused chapters, like a movie, means things never become overwhelming.”
“With the author’s keen eye for detail, the expert balance between the characters’ experiences and the varied backdrops they find themselves in, this is surely a novel crying out for cinematic adaption. Hollywood take note!”
“At its core this novel is a well written, well-conceived historical romance. It will appeal to men and women equally.”
"The bottom line: Charles Bunker should feel very proud of himself in having written this book. It's a gripping read, and I enjoyed every page. Well done, Sir!"
“If you want an unmissable escapist read of wine women and warriors to tide you through lockdown then The Lands of de Gressier is a must-buy.”
As featured in Reader's Digest - See the "must read of the week" review here
As featured in Stories.SWNS - See the "book of the week" review here
As featured on Silversurfers.com - See the "most enjoyable read this year" review here