I picked up this novel on a whim whilst doing my food shop. It caught my eye because I'm a big fan of books set during the World Wars and also the author had previously published it under a different title, which is something I'm considering doing. I started to read and the opening chapters didn't immediately grab me (like it's drummed into us writers they should) but I kept going because I just had a hunch it was going to be a good storyline. When an English woman marries a German man on the brink of the Second World War, it's an intriguing hook.
I'm always trying to learn from published authors so, what I wanted to uncover here, was how Margaret Graham would write about the agony of conflict amidst a tight family unit and how the three members of the family would cope with the burden of war and discrimination. The book deals beautifully with the subject of being a German verses being a Nazi and how during war, the two lines become quickly blurred.
Every book needs a strong main character who the reader can connect with and, more importantly believe in, and Graham does an excellent job with Helen. You feel everything she feels and how she keeps going, even after the war, driven by pure determination to find peace in her life for herself and for her family and still hold it all together, is anyone's guess. But there are characters in our lives like Helen, which is what made this book so special to me.
I also enjoyed the way Graham moved the story along with historical references. I admire any writer who has the patience to weave history into their plot/s because of the amount of research it must have involved.
This book surprised me with just how good it was, and for that, I really loved it and it will definitely be staying on my bookshelf.
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Blogging is an amazing concept so here I am giving it a whirl. You'll get words. You'll get pics. Sometimes a vid or two. You'll get tongue in cheek, the odd humble opinion and an honest insight into my travels and writing life. Maybe even a few gems along the way. I'll be musing on home turf as I see more and more of the UK and sharing my experiences further afield on holidays and adventurous trips across the globe.