It’s November 11, 1918. “Who’s going to clean up this mess?” are the first words Eleanor Simons hears on a suddenly-silent battlefield when the cannons cease their roaring. The mess is everywhere–in the blasted fields of France, Belgium, Russia, the Middle East, Africa…. And like those fields, Eleanor’s life looks bleak; her fiancé has died in the war. As a nurse at the front, she never expected to survive, either. Now, a long, blank lifetime stretches out ahead of her.
In Asia, Africa and Europe, whole empires have been blown away. To clean up the mess, to make a lasting peace, the world’s diplomats are convening in the beehive that is Paris. During the early months of 1919, Eleanor–like many a harried, sleepless minister–must face the challenge of shaping a new future out of the ashes of the old.
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