Honeymoon in Hell Gael Elton Mayo Media Release

honeymoon in hell gael elton mayo media release bookblast

Honeymoon in Hell is a remarkable rediscovered World War Two novel originally published by Doubleday in 1944

September 1939. Star-crossed newly-weds, Anthea and Igor, have enjoyed a lazy summer on the French Riviera with their fun-loving friends, but a disturbing undercurrent lies beneath their insouciance. She is just sweet seventeen, and he a worldly thirty. They return to Paris, a city once synonymous with love and art, now overshadowed by the spectre of war.

June 1940. The couple flee from the Nazi occupiers and join the exodus heading south. Their baby son is born during the bombardment of Bordeaux, and she survives childbed fever. They return to Paris. Igor expects to be mobilized into the French Army. Anthea is put under house arrest by the Gestapo under threat of internment. They plan an escape with a smuggler across the demarcation line to the Free Zone, narrowly evading a Nazi trap at the border by hiding in a hotel swarming with Gestapo agents. Guided by gamekeepers and accompanied by two Gaullists, they safely cross the line with their baby hidden in a pillowcase. In Marseille, they take refuge in a brothel.

By January 1941 they are in Cannes where seduction and corruption thrive under the sun. Is the unoccupied southern zone under the Vichy government any safer? Will their marriage survive for better or for worse?

“[Gael’s] dash from Nazi-occupied France with her newborn baby at the beginning of the war – she was 17 – makes one of the great escape stories of our day,” The Independent


• Based on real-life events experienced at the time, Gael Elton Mayo wrote Honeymoon in Hell when she was nineteen.
• War, women, childbirth and trauma continue to be major subjects to this day.
• Perfect for fans of Sarah’s Key and The English Patient

PUBLICATION 2 July 2024 • PB 216x138mm • £5.99 • Fiction (FA) •  ISBN 978 1068646218

About the Author
Gael Elton Mayo (1921–92) was the youngest daughter of pioneering industrial psychologist, Emeritus Professor Elton Mayo. She worked as a journalist for Picture Post and various other publications in the 1950s before working with Cartier Bresson, Capa and Chim at Magnum Photographers in Paris. She wrote Generation X with Cartier Bresson in England (later changed to Youth of the World by Holiday Magazine). Her painting was encouraged by Moïse Kisling who painted her portrait. She had eight exhibitions. In the 1960s four novels were published. For the last twenty years of her life, Gael fought a virulent cancer of the head and neck which finally killed her.

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About Georgia de Chamberet 377 Articles
Bilingual editor, rewriter, anthologist, French-to-English translator. Has written for 3am magazine, words without borders, The Independent, The Lady, Banipal, Prospect Magazine, Times Literary Supplement. Currently writes for The BookBlast Diary. Founder (1997) of London-based writing agency BookBlast.

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