Winner 2014 IndieReader Discovery Award - Best Literary Fiction
B.R.A.G. Medallion Award Winner
One violent act draws together three very different people in Alan Bray's haunting debut, The Hour of Parade.
The year is 1806, and Russian cavalry officer Alexi Ruzhensky journeys to Munich in disguise to kill the French officer responsible for murdering his brother in a duel.
Alexi, obsessed by the main character in Jean-Jacques Rousseau's novel Julie, procrastinates and becomes romantically entangled with a young Bavarian woman.
As the novel comes to its explosive conclusion, Alexi will learn that revenge can neither be easily accomplished nor avoided.
An intricately woven history of love, lust, and murder, The Hour of Parade has been called "a literary treat," and "a work of remarkable elegance."
Bray’s novel is an engaging historical about the unusual relationships formed during war. In 1806 Munich, during the Napoleonic Wars, Russian officer premier major Alexi Ruzhensky searches for the French officer who killed his younger brother in a duel. On finally encountering Lieutenant Valsin, though, Ruzhensky strikes up a friendship with him through their shared military experiences; his perspective on his brother’s death begins to change after speaking with other French soldiers who witnessed it. A thoughtful man, Ruzhensky must come to grips with these altered feelings and decide whether to rejoin his regiment, return to his father’s estate in Russia, or forge a new life in Munich. He must also figure out what to do with his mistress, Marianne, a young widow forced into prostitution. She loves Ruzhensky but fears what will happen if he must leave. She urges him to take his revenge. Valsin faces a similar situation with his lover, Anne-Marie, who followed Valsin onto the battlefield and actually engaged in combat. When Ruzhensky and Anne-Marie meet, the relationship among all four main characters becomes much more complicated. This is a rich and compelling look at four people seeking purpose. (BookLife)