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.
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
"‘The Lands of de Gressier’ is a brilliant book: a fast-moving story, full of excitement, drama, crime, tragedy and love. It definitely lives up to its billing as ‘a scandalous story of passion, betrayal and corruption’. We recommend itto everyone, and urge you to go and buy a copy. It’s a gripping ‘page-turner’ that will have you hooked, intent on finding out the next twist of the story.
'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 else ). 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?!
Charles Bunker’s style is to write in very short chapters, alternating back and forward between Penrose and Juliette, and it’s very effective and fast-paced. If you’ve read "All the light we cannot see" by Anthony Doerr (2014) you’ll recognise the style – and that book won the 2015 Pulitzer Prize and spent 130 consecutive weeks at the top of the New York Times bestseller list for hardback fiction, so go for it, Charles!" - Grantchester Parish Magazine.
"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."
"The Lands of de Gressier is the must-read novel for 2021. It is not just a good book. It is a great book.""
"It's an excellent read, very well crafted."
"A very good read indeed and beautifully written."
"The Story was well crafted with interesting plots and subplots, and strong and complex characters with whom the reader becomes easily engaged."
"Just finished The Lands of de Gressier, and I can't wait to get into Book 2: The Vines of de Gressier."
"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!"