OTS Issue #59: Emma Caton’s “And the War Stopped”

Two young soldiers from opposite sides of a battlefield meet in No Man’s Land with their hands raised. Others from both sides join them. So begins the Christmas Truce of WWI.

When I asked Emma Caton, author of the latest issue of One Teen Story, what drew her to the subject matter, she talked in our Q&A about the amount of hatred that “has to be present in order to go to war,” and yet the soldiers involved in the event were able to suspend their hatred for a few hours of peace and comradery. That fascinated her. And then she took it a step further and gave her young soldiers—one German, one British—a spark of romantic interest.

I was impressed by how swiftly this story moves, how deeply it cuts, and how sparsely it’s told. Emma had the idea from the get-go to write a love story, and she’s done just that. At the same time, she hasn’t shied away from the challenges these two young men face. The result is “And the War Stopped”—a powerful story of connection and longing in the most unlikely of circumstances, and one of the winners of our Teen Writing Contest. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

1 thought on “OTS Issue #59: Emma Caton’s “And the War Stopped”

  1. From school and other books I had learned how soldiers could transition (albeit for just a few hours) away from literally gunning each other down to playing assorted games with each other on holidays like this. In the middle of war no less.

    At first even though I knew of the concept beforehand, the story at first didn’t really do anything for me. But by the end, seeing how the connection was made and then how the connection had to be broken was just wrenching and I’m usually not the type to get tied up with feeling. They just started feeling comfortable, happy and then –

    Good job Ms. Caton

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