Ilona Lost is a compelling and unusual love story. It features two women fighting to survive in worlds dominated by men: the battlefield (1914-1918 and the Russo-Polish War), industrial management, and the bars and brothels of post-war London. The Russian Front, 1916. An English nurse rescues a Polish teenager from rape by Cossack cavalry. The two women are emotionally numb after their experiences in the army camps, field hospitals and shattered villages of the Ukraine. As Bolshevik agitators demoralise the Russian army, chaos turns to hell. Lenin and the Red Army take over. Through it all, Ilona, the peasant girl, and Evelyn, the nurse, cling together, becoming not only comrades but lovers. As the war in western Europe drags on, they find their way back to the English Midlands. Evelyn has lost three brothers during the war. The family factory makes car engines. She wins the fight to take it over and decides to build modern ambulances: at the front she has come to hate the ancient rattletraps that shake wounded men to death. Ilona works in the factory, but, unstable and demanding, she wants a kind of love from Evelyn that Evelyn finds impossible.
They quarrel, and Ilona loses herself in the lesbian bars and brothels of London. But Evelyn cannot live without the girl she loves - and so starts her search for the lost Ilona, discovering the sordid and degenerate world of London, from Bloomsbury to the East End, made vicious by the war...Ilona Lost offers an unforgettable image of love triumphing over despair against a backdrop of social, political and international savagery. It also sheds a rare and powerful light on the tragic divisions in the Ukraine, a useful insight at our own insecure moment in history. It will appeal to fans of historical, literary and romance fiction.
Jim Pinnells works around the world launching, rescuing or closing out international projects. Jim works in many fields - national security, oil, windfarms, aircraft (military and civilian), international treaties - from Russia to Venezuela and from South Africa to Sweden. He has published widely, including his first two novels, Saturn's Daughters (Matador, 2013) and The Causeway (Matador, 2009).
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- ID: 9781785892998
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