Walking Wounded by Anna Franklin Osborne book review

walking wounded

Walking Wounded written and published by Anna Franklin Osborne is available NOW in ebook and paperback format.

To buy link:

Product Details (as per amazon page)

Born at the end of the First World War, a young girl struggles to find her own identity in her big family and is pushed into a stormy marriage through a terrible misunderstanding from which her pride refuses to let her back down. As her own personal world begins to crumble, the foundation of the world around her is shaken as Germany once again declares war and her brothers and young husband sign up with the first wave of volunteers.

Walking Wounded tells the story of those left behind in a Blitz-ravaged London, and of the web of loyalty, guilt and duty that shapes the decisions of the women awaiting the return of their men-folk as the war draws to a close.

Spanning the period from the Armistice of the First World War to the exodus of the Ten Pound Poms to Australia in the 1950s, Walking Wounded is a family saga whose internal violence is mirrored by the world stage upon which it is set.

london station blitz

This was such a profoundly emotive story that deeply moved me.  At one point I had to pause from reading due to the tears blurring my vision.  Anna Franklin Osborne has taken me on a very real emotional journey, a journey that millions took that had no choice but to “Keep Calm and Carry On” but behind the smiles lay troubled souls and broken hearts.

This family saga started back in 1918 travelling through to 1952 on the life of one family coping and trying to survive what life through at them.  Through pivotal moments in Britain’s history and through life’s own harsh battles.  Women waiting patiently for news of their loved ones; be it fathers, brothers, sons, husbands and lovers.  Dreading the post for fear of bad news.  However, when the men came back they were scarred both physically and mentally and the scenes that they have endured will never leave them.  The joy of seeing and being with your family again was tinged with the fear of what the war did to the minds of their men.

Whilst the men did their duty the women were left to hold the fort back at home and at work, struggling to make ends meet and struggling to keep morale high.  Anna Franklin Osborne’s female characters were all very strong young women full of vitality and hope at the beginning of the war but life was very cruel and hearts were shattered and minds were tested.  The walking wounded were not just the soldiers of war but of those left behind wounded by life and all it threw at them.  A smile can hide a multitude of emotions.

This is a very special story, a fictional story based loosely around Anna Franklin Osborne’s three great uncles, her great aunt and her grandmother who all played a part during the war years.  I do believe fictional stories bring history to life and Anna Franklin Osborne has taken me on this historical journey.  A stunning story spelling out life in it’s raw detail.  5/5*

To find out more about Anna Franklin Osborne please do visit the following pages:

Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/GooseWingPublications/

 

 

Bamboo Road Trilogy by Ann Bennett blogtour

bamboo road trilogy blogtour poster

I am so pleased to be involved in the blogtour celebrating and promoting the launch of Bamboo Road, which is volume three in a Southeast Asian WWII Trilogy.  The trilogy includes Bamboo Heart, Bamboo Island and Bamboo Road and can be read in any order.

Product Details (as per amazon page)

Bamboo Heart – is available in ebook, paperback and audio download format.

Set in the Far East before and during the Second World War, Bamboo Heart captures the suffering and courage of prisoners of war of the Japanese. It tells the story of Tom Ellis, a prisoner enslaved on the infamous Death Railway in Thailand, and charts the journey of his daughter, Laura, who turns her back on her yuppie existence in eighties London to investigate her father’s wartime experience.

To buy link:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Bamboo-Heart-Trilogy-1/dp/9814423734/ref=pd_bxgy_14_img_3?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=N92RM8EE04KMXMZWCG93

Bamboo Island – is available in ebook and paperback format.

A stranger appears on Juliet s plantation in Malaya, inspiring a journey to Singapore and Indonesia to uncover family secrets hidden since World War Two Juliet Crosby has lived a reclusive life on her Malayan rubber plantation since the Second World War robbed her of everyone she loved. However, the sudden appearance of a young woman from Indonesia disrupts her lonely existence and stirs up unsettling memories. Juliet is forced to recollect her prewar marriage, her wartime ordeals in Japanese-occupied Singapore and the loss of those she once held dear.

To buy link:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/d/Books/Bamboo-Island-Trilogy-Ann-Bennett/9814625175/ref=pd_bxgy_14_2?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=XYPK5PWQTXVKC1YVBY99

Bamboo Road – is available in ebook and paperback format.

Thailand 1942: Sirinya and her family are members of the Thai underground, who risk their lives to resist the World War Two Japanese occupation and to and help British prisoners of war building the Thai-Burma railway. The events of those years have repercussions for decades to come. The book tells Sirinya s wartime story and how in the 1970s she returns to Kanchanaburi after a long absence abroad, to settle old scores from the war years.

To buy link:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/d/cka/Bamboo-Road-Trilogy-3-Ann-Bennett/9814625256/ref=pd_bxgy_14_3?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=GSJ331533N34V58KH76C

MY REVIEW OF BAMBOO HEART

Bamboo Heart is one of the books in the Bamboo Trilogy written by Ann Bennett, publisher Monsoon Books.  The books can be read in any order however, I chose to read Bamboo Heart first and I was soon captivated by this time slip historical fiction novel with the idea of the story coming to Ann Bennett whilst she was researching her father’s history who had been a POW on the Thailand-Burma Railway.

A fascinating, insightful story travelling back to 1938 to a young man starting out in the working world.  His career started out in the legal field and returned back to law many years later but what happened in between these years will stay with this young man forever.  A time during a pivotal moment in history.  A time that was kept hidden to the rest of the world as thousands of men were tortured and even killed in POW camps in Burma.  This was a truly terrifying time that was equally shocking, distressing and so traumatising.

Bamboo Heart’s time slip story journeys from London 1986 with Laura Ellis, a young career girl in the law industry taking time out to trace her father’s history.  We then travel back to 1943 to when Thomas Ellis was captured by the Japanese and held captive in a POW camp and forced to work on The Death Railway.

The author, Ann Bennett, wrote with such passion and honesty.  She left no scene without telling the shocking truth of a young man’s struggle to survive in the most terrifying of ordeals.  The story sounds quite oppressive but it wasn’t as you were dealing with real people’s emotions and even during times of war love always found a way to bring sunshine and hope to your days. 

A truly compelling historical time slip work of fiction that will stay with me for a long time 5/5*

About the Author Ann Bennett

ann bennett

Ann Bennett was born and raised in a small village in Northamptonshire, UK. She read Law at Cambridge and qualified and practised as a solicitor. During a career break, to have children, she started to write. Her father had been a prisoner of war on the Thailand– Burma Railway and the idea for a Southeast Asian WWII trilogy came from researching his wartime experiences. The research took her back to Asia, a place she loves and has returned to many times. She lives in Surrey with her husband and three sons and works in London as a lawyer.

To find out more about Ann Bennett and her books please visit the following links:

Website: http://www.bambooheart.co.uk

Blog: http://www.annbennettbambooheart.com

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/annbennett71

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Ann-Bennett

The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir by Jennifer Ryan book review

 

the-chilbury-ladies-choir

The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir written by Jennifer Ryan, publisher The Borough Press, is available from the 23rd February 2017 in ebook, hardcover, audio download and audio CD format.

To pre-order/buy link:

 

Product Details (as per amazon page)

The village of Chilbury in Kent is about to ring in some changes.
This is a delightful novel of wartime gumption and village spirit that will make your heart sing out.

Kent, 1940.

In the idyllic village of Chilbury change is afoot. Hearts are breaking as sons and husbands leave to fight, and when the Vicar decides to close the choir until the men return, all seems lost.

But coming together in song is just what the women of Chilbury need in these dark hours, and they are ready to sing. With a little fighting spirit and the arrival of a new musical resident, the charismatic Miss Primrose Trent, the choir is reborn.

Some see the choir as a chance to forget their troubles, others the chance to shine. Though for one villager, the choir is the perfect cover to destroy Chilbury’s new-found harmony.

Uplifting and profoundly moving, THE CHILBURY LADIES’ CHOIR explores how a village can endure the onslaught of war, how monumental history affects small lives and how survival is as much about friendship as it is about courage.

 

amazing-grace-song-sheet

I have just finished reading this delightful, uplifting, inspiring, heart warming novel and I’m flabbergasted that The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir is Jennifer Ryan’s first novel.  The words written by Jennifer Ryan were so profound I could visualise the scenes and characters in my head played out on a big screen and I’m hoping one day we will get the chance to see this wonderful story on our TV screens.

This story is set in 1940 in a quiet, sleepy village in Kent that up-to-yet hasn’t seen much devastation with the war.  Most of the men in the village have joined up with the war help so the village is pretty much left with just the women to hold the fort.  The Vicar has declared that the choir is to close due to all the male voices currently indisposed.  The ladies of the choir are not pleased and feel lost without the choir.  The ladies between themselves and with the help of Prim, a music tutor who has just moved to the village, decide to keep the choir up and running.  The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir is born and sets to keep spirits up during this unsettling time.  The joy of singing together in a choir brings the ladies of the village together and the worries of those missing loved ones are shared.  The choir becomes a formidable force and gain strength within themselves and their voices become clearer and sweeter.

Diary keeping was encouraged in these tough times to write down their thoughts, their daily routines and rituals, their hope for the future.  I loved how the author, Jennifer Ryan, split each chapter up with these journal entries from different characters in the story.  We see the story set out from different perspectives.  From women and girls of all ages seeing the war with different eyes.  One young woman in particular in the village was using the war and the choir to cover for the most immoral agreement between one of the village’s high ranked and obnoxious men and herself.  Greed was in the forefront between these two unscrupulous people.

Disaster was to strike shattering the very soul of the village but the ladies of the choir came together offering respite for themselves and also giving hope and encouragement to others.

This story was just so lovely.  It wasn’t all hearts and flowers though.  Jennifer Ryan opened our eyes to the world as it was in a very upsetting time.  Lives and livelihoods were lost but life had to go on and the women all over the country found an inner strength to keep everything going.  From the devastation of loss we could feel light and warmth with love finding its way through.  A truly, wonderful debut novel that I simply adored.  5/5*

To find out more about Jennifer Ryan please do visit the following pages:

Website:  http://www.jenniferryanbooks.com/

Twitter:  http://www.twitter.com/JenniferiRyan

Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/JenniferRyanBooks/

  I voluntarily reviewed an arc of this novel.  All opinions are my own and no content may be copied. However, authors and publishers may use elements of my reviews for quotes.