In her first-person account Becca recalls her summer school in England after her high school graduation. Though a journalism major she wanted to take English Lit as an elective and she could get credit if she studied at the Univ. of Nottingham. While at the school dining hall, she met a young woman who had just finished her first year and was taking a summer course for more credit. Her focus was history but she loved literature. Gabby, short for Gabriele, Boudreau lived in Nottingham with her parents and her great grand aunt who lived in a suite behind the house. Gabby invites Becca over to her house for the evening meal and Becca accepts. On the walk from campus to the Boudreau house, Gabby explains how the French family came to the UK. Her parents, Therese and Pierre came in 1988 to study and then got a position at a local school to teach. When Gabby’s great grandfather in France was killed in an accident, Gabby’s parents agreed to move the widowed great aunt to the UK. Her husband had been in the British army in France and decided to stay in France after the war. He died in 2000. The great grand aunt, Camille Benedict, was now 94 but getting along pretty well. Becca noted that she also has a connection to the war. Her Great grandfather served in the American Army Air Corps. His plane crashed in the channel on the way back from a bombing raid in Germany. His remains were never found. “My Great grandmother misses her Harry Bennet to this day.”
At dinner she meets Peter and Teresa Boudreau and Mrs. Camille Benedict. Becca likes them very much. They are congenial and Camille is a very handsome elderly woman, spry for her age, with bright blue eyes. After dinner, Camille retreats to her suite and the other talk for a while in the garden. Later on, Gabby wants to go to Camille’s suite because she has a book that Gabby thought Becca would like to read. It was a book written in 1943 by a French author who had it smuggled out of France for publication in London. When they go to the suite, Camille is watching telly but doesn’t mind the interruption from the 2 young women. While Gabby hunts for the book and chats with Camille, Becca looks around the suite and notices a photo on a table. She goes closer and sees a much younger Camille with a man that shocks Becca. The face beside Camille looks remarkably like the face in the uniform on the mantelpiece of her grandfather’s home. The men in the Bennett family have a very distinctive cleft chin and square jawline. Her grandfather has it, as do other Bennet men, and so did the face in the photo. Camille’s voice interrupts her study. Camille explains that that is her husband, Harvey Benedict with her in the little cottage and farm they shared in Brittany. The wheels in Becca’s head start turning. Brittany isn’t far from Normandy. She mentions the fact that Harvey looks very much like her great grandfather, Harry Bennett. Camille shrugs and says that “everyone has a double.” But Becca saw something flash in Camille’s eyes. Gabby called to Camille from across the room, and while Camille was distracted, Becca takes her phone and snaps a picture of the photo. The book Gabby was searching for was found and Becca is driven back to the campus dorm. Once back at her desk in the dorm she dashes off an e-mail to her mother asking for a scan of Harry Bennett’s portrait. Mother is curious why she wants it. Becca invents a story that WWII is a big deal in Britain and students were sharing family stories of the war for a reunion of bomber crews this summer. She wanted to take part. That satisfied mom.
When the e-mail with the picture comes, she compares the two faces side by side. She is stunned and convinced that Harry Bennett and Harvey Benedict are the same man. What should she do? Confront Camille? Did Camille know that the man she loved was already married and had a family? Was she also deceived? She decides to go to Camille to return the book rather than giving it to Gabby to return. She would try to get answers from Camille.
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