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Extended Audio Sample The Girl in the Blue Beret Audiobook, by Bobbie Ann Mason Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (1,067 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Bobbie Ann Mason Narrator: Fred Sullivan Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: July 2011 ISBN: 9781482980899
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Inspired by a true story, the bestselling author of In Country offers a gorgeous, haunting novel about an airline pilot coming to terms with his past, and searching for the people who saved him during World War II. After Marshall Stone’s B-17 bomber was shot down in occupied Europe in 1944, people in the French Resistance helped him escape to safety. One of the brave French people who risked their lives for him was a lively girl in Paris—a girl identified by her blue beret. After the war Marshall returned to America, raised a family, and became a successful airline pilot. He tried to forget the war. Now, in 1980, he returns to France and finds himself drawn back in time—memories of the crash, the terror of being alone in a foreign country where German soldiers were hunting down fallen Allied aviators, the long months of hiding. Marshall finds the people who helped him escape from the Nazis and falls in love with the woman who was the girl in the blue beret. He also discovers astonishing revelations about the suffering of the people he had known during the war. Bobbie Ann Mason’s novel, inspired by her father-in-law’s wartime experiences, is a beautifully woven story of love, war, and second chances.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Bobbie Ann Mason knows her way around a good story…This is a war story told decades later, helped along by Mason’s extensive research in Europe, where she tracked down the real-life heroes herself. Ushering her readers back and forth across the decades, she perfectly weaves history with fiction.”

    USA Today

  • “The profound story of an emotionally aloof retiree who must finally learn to stop flying above everything and embrace the people on the ground who saved his life…As much a historical search as a psychological one, and Mason has drawn the details of her downed airman’s ordeal from a range of published histories and interviews…A stirring tribute.”

    Washington Post

  • “Inspired by her father-in-law’s wartime experience, this novel at all times feels honest and real and offers a compelling story about the French Resistance…The true power of great fiction.”

    Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

  • “A touching novel about love, loss, war, and memory…Mason’s latest, based on the real-life experiences of her father-in-law, is fascinating and intensely intimate.”

    Publishers Weekly

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kelley | 2/18/2014

    " Prob 3.5 stars really- I'm on a WWII kick right now and this one was about a subject I'd never heard about- the moving of airmen through Occupied France. I liked it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Bipasha | 2/11/2014

    " An okay read. Nothing too great! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ken French | 1/28/2014

    " Excellent story of a WWII pilot escaping through France. Expertly told in both present and past tenses. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Connie | 1/23/2014

    " I liked this. I especially liked learning so much about the French during the war. This is why I like historical fiction. The love story between Marshall and Annette was sweet. It reminded me in some ways of Major Pettigrew's Last Stand. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jayne | 1/14/2014

    " I enjoyed the book - but it seemed to read more like non fiction than fiction. The pace was just too deliberate for me, but I wouldn't discourage anyone from reading this novel. It covers points of view I have never read before - especially the American WWII aviator who returns to France after he has been retired from commercial flying. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Libby | 1/5/2014

    " I was not a fan of Marshall and his WWII galavanting, but the book was rich in details of the German occupation of France and the French who assisted airmen in distress. For this, I give the book four stars in lieu of three. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Don | 12/26/2013

    " I'm really pulling for Bobbie Ann to come up with another great book. This isn't it--and it might not even be a good book. I should probably read it again someday, but I wasn't ready for a WW2 Nazi atrocity novel. I also had a hard time with the main character. He's someone discovering his past, but I wasn't convinced that someone with decent intelligence and some level of compassion would be able to forget or repress enough to have all this past to recover. I think his actions better fit a narcissist, or at least someone I'm going to have a hard time caring about. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 ~mad | 12/13/2013

    " This book was just extraordinary! So very engaging and satisfying. I will read everything she has written now... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kelly | 11/20/2013

    " I loved the book, until the end. Story about a WWII pilot shot down in France and his escape with the help of the French resistance. I felt like the book should have gone on for at least another chapter, it ended fine but just too early, I felt there was more to the story. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cheron | 11/8/2013

    " Paris in war time. The Resistance. I always wondered what how and why they did it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Diane S. | 10/27/2013

    " What a well written wonderfully flowing book about an aviator and the French Resistance. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 marsha | 10/3/2013

    " Based on the true experience of the authors father in law. A pilot shot down during WW11 returns to Paris 30+ years later to find the people who sheltered him and helped his escape from the Nazis. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ulana | 12/28/2012

    " This book started out real slow in the first half. The last half was good and so was the ending. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 L | 11/18/2012

    " I liked the premise of this book but, could not feel any empathy for the characters. It goes on my abandoned pile. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Cheri | 2/6/2012

    " What a book!!!!! Loved it!!! The characters are wonderful---through them you get a great insight into the Resistance workers in France and also into the US airmen who were shot down over France and Belgium. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Cassie | 2/4/2012

    " I was disappointed in this book, after reading rave reviews. The main character was not likeable, he seemed self-absorbed and immature. The flashbacks were sometimes jarring and the ending was very abrupt. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Donna | 11/30/2011

    " Read this for a book club and could barely get through it. Interesting, informative, and heart breaking in places, but mostly dragged. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Yvonne | 11/14/2011

    " This book didn't really start to get interesting until the latter part. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jean Grimes Higgins | 11/9/2011

    " I really liked the story in this book but only gave it a 4 because I didn't feel emotional invested. I couldn't relate to any of the characters and didn't particularly like the main character. Still a good book about the French resistance and the efforts of good people to save American airmen. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Janice | 7/14/2011

    " Kept reading hoping to learn more about the characters. Finally, over halfway through I was starting to get to the part I had been waiting for. Then, to my horror, I turned the page and it was the end. I consider this kind of book - reader abuse.

    "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Anne | 7/9/2011

    " I loved the book. It makes me want to go to France, study French and learn more about WWII and
    the French Resistance. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Nancy | 7/3/2011

    " Another 5 star book on WWII. This one set in France. A touching story of an American pilot who ditched his plane in Belgium and was smuggled out of the country by the loyal French. He goes back to look for his rescuers 40 years later and reconnects with those who helped him. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ken | 6/18/2011

    " Excellent story of a WWII pilot escaping through France. Expertly told in both present and past tenses. "

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About the Author
Author Bobbie Ann Mason

Bobbie Ann Mason is a bestselling author, winner of the PEN/Hemingway Award, and a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, American Book Award, and PEN/Faulkner Award. Her memoir, Clear Springs, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. She is a writer-in-residence at the University of Kentucky.

About the Narrator

Fred Sullivan is an actor, acting teacher, and an AudioFile Earphones Award–winning narrator.