Glad to see Mary Borden’s The Forbidden Zone reviewed on the excellent Great War 100 Reads blog. The style is truly unusual and remarkable for its time and for once style enhances substance, making a particular era universal. I would heartily recommend reading this book for any WWI enthusiasts – in fact, anyone at all.
Mary Borden’s The Forbidden Zone is a thin volume of vignettes from her experiences in French Army field hospitals during WW1. I’ve dipped into it many times, reading and rereading several stories. But I took over a year to read it from cover to cover. I just didn’t want it to end. And it’s taken a while to write this review since I finished reading it, as I searched for words to do it justice.
Borden was a Chicago heiress born in 1886. She graduated from Vassar College, married and settled in London. In WW1, she volunteered for the French Red Cross, then offered to fund and manage a field hospital for the French Army. For her efforts, she was awarded the Croix de guerre and named Chevalier de la Légion d’honneur.
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