We won this title from the Reading Agency: http://readinggroups.org./
"I can't begin to tell you" by Elizabeth Buchan is set in Denmark at the beginning of World War 2. It is the story of a married woman's struggle to
obey her conscience and do what she believes to be right by resisting the
Nazi occupation in Denmark even though this brings her into conflict with the husband she loves, who does not share her viewpoint. The book raises important questions about obeying one's conscience and the willingness to do so in the face of real danger and risk. It also speaks to us about how we might react in a similar situation. The book suggests that obeying our conscience may involve risk at times but it is the only way to live an authentic life and to live at peace with the consequences of our actions. To act decisively and courageously is very important for us also.
The group did think that the writing was a bit clumsy and disjointed in certain places and that there could have been two separate stories written out of the one book; one about the historical details of the work of the resistance, and another book about the moral dilemma of Kay, the main protagonist. However, some of the threads of the book were woven together cleverly, such as drawing in emotionally the two female code breakers in England to the fate of the agents working in Denmark. There were strong themes in the book of love, betrayal, suffering, loneliness and fear. In the end love proves stronger than betrayal, courage stronger than fear and justice stronger than oppression. This book is not great literature but it is a very moving and thought-provoking book which is easily readable.