Posts Tagged With: Historical

Paper Moon by Marion Husband

Synopsis (from back page)

The passionate love affair between Spitfire pilot Bobby Harris and photographer’s model Nina Tate lasts through the turmoil of World War II, but is tested when his plane is shot down. Disfigured and wanting to hide from the world, Bobby retreats from Bohemian Soho to the empty house his grandfather has left him, a house haunted by the secrets of his childhood. Here the mysteries of his past are gradually unravelled.

Review

Paper Moon is an extremely well written and moving story that portrays life in post-war Britain very convincingly.

The story focuses mainly on Bobby Harris, a spitfire pilot who is left badly disfigured after his plane is shot down. Bobby is a wonderful and very believable character whose back-story which is told in a series of flashbacks is quite literally heartbreaking at times. And while the deep dark secret at the centre of it is quite shocking it’s revealed in a very gentle manner rather than in a vulgar and tasteless way which is the route that many other writers would have taken in order to get more shock value out of it. As it is here the author doesn’t make it seem seedy and tasteless and the scene itself is over very quickly with the story as a whole more about how Bobby deals with the aftermath and the repercussions of it rather than focussing on the actual event itself.

The secondary character of Nina is also very likeable and believable although I did find her to be a little shallow at times. There are also a few other characters that are brought into the mix throughout the course of the book and although slightly confusing to begin with as you are not initially aware of how they fit into the story, things pan out nicely and by the end the characters have came full circle and yes there is a happy ending in store for those characters that we have come to know and love.

A wonderfully written and moving story that will have you wiping away the tears long after you’ve finished reading it.

On a side note Paper Moon is actually the sequel to The Boy I Love and if I hadn’t have known before hand that is was indeed a follow on I would never have guessed as it holds up as a stand alone book extremely well. Although I personally haven’t read the first one I can quite honestly say that it didn’t affect my enjoyment of this one and I certainly don’t feel as if I’ve missed out on anything…although saying that I would like to read The Boy I Love at some point in the future, if only to get the full gist of the story.

Reviewed by Karen.

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Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks

Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks

The ‘Blurb’
Spring 1666: when the Great Plague reaches the quiet Derbyshire village of Eyam, the villagers make an extraordinary decision. They elect to isolate themselves in a fateful quarantine. So begins the Year of Wonders, seen through eighteen-year-old Anna Frith’s eyes as she confronts the loss of her family, the disintegration of her community, and the lure of a dangerous and illicit love. Based on a true story, this novel explores love and learning, fear and fanaticism, and the struggles of seventeenth-century science and religion to interpret the world at the cusp of the modern era.

I read a review about this a few years ago and loved the sound of it. I’d forgotten all about it though until I found it in a charity shop recently. What a fabulous book!

Based on a true story, it tells how the plague is brought to the small village of Eyam in some flea ridden cloth sent from London to a journeyman tailor lodging with Anna. The villagers take the decision to quarantine themselves, leaving money and requests for goods on the village boundary stone and in return, people from the next village leave the items for them to collect, ensuring that they are able to survive without contact with the outside world. I say survive, but in reality about 75% of the village inhabitants were victims of this horrific, painful death.

The book is so well written that it’s easy to lose yourself in it. I would love to visit Eyam, which I know has a good museum dedicated to this remarkable incident.

10/10

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