This is such a powerful story, set in WWI before we had a name for PTSD or Shell Shock this book takes you to a hospital with one doctor who is trying...moreThis is such a powerful story, set in WWI before we had a name for PTSD or Shell Shock this book takes you to a hospital with one doctor who is trying to get people to realize this is an actual condition not men just being cowardly. But how we get to that hospital is a heartbreaking yet uplifting story told through the eyes of 9 year old Alfie who is in search of his father Georgie.
Alfie is a precocious 9 year old who misses his father it has been 4 years since he went off to war and Alfie’s mother won’t let him see the letters he is writing but Alfie finds a way but notices there hasn’t been a letter in a long time, his mother tells him his dad is on a secret mission but Alfie is not sure he believes that. Alfie has been helping out by shining shoes at Kings Cross Station ( unbeknownst to his mother) and one day a man drops some papers and as Alfie helps him pick them up he sees his dads name and the name of a hospital so he sets off to find his dad.
This story is at times heartbreaking, uplifting and powerful, seeing it through Alfie’s eyes really brings home the separation of war, the not knowing if your parent is alive or well and how the parent left behind wants to protect their child from knowing the gory details of war but that leaves Alfie to think his father is dead. When Alfie does find his father it will break your heart and Alfie’s innocence in thinking if he just comes home he will be okay leads to circumstances that make Alfie have to confront just what shell shock is and how the war affected his father.
Euan Morton narrates this book with skill, his narration of Alfie is spot on and you feel every emotion he feels. Every character has a voice and the parts with the banging how Morton brings Georgie’s emotion to the forefront are amazing. Highly recommend this on audio!
The author does a great job at making you feel everything Alfie feels the fear, the trepidation, the confusion all written so beautifully.
4 ½ Stars
I received this book from netgally but ended up listening to the audio version and am so glad I did! (less)
This was a good story but couldn’t help thinking of The Water of Mars. My favorite line in perfect Ten voice," Now that Mickey the untrained civilian...moreThis was a good story but couldn’t help thinking of The Water of Mars. My favorite line in perfect Ten voice," Now that Mickey the untrained civilian has a hand grenade, oh yes, everything is going to be fine.” I could just picture The Doctor saying it and the look on Mickey’s face as he did!
I love that David Tennant reads the narrative in his Scottish accent and the Doctor bits as the voice Whovians know so well and his voicing of Mickey is fantastic!
Of course it makes me want to go back and watch David’s episodes again and again.
This is a powerful book, and at times hard to read. This is definitely a ripped from headlines book, when the unthinkable happens to social worker Ell...moreThis is a powerful book, and at times hard to read. This is definitely a ripped from headlines book, when the unthinkable happens to social worker Ellen, how do you get people to understand that it was an accident when the guilt of it is ripping you apart. Then we have runaway Jenny whose dad is in jail and her mother ran off with the man that beat Jenny when she was younger but luckily she is found by a kind woman who also happens to be Ellen’s mother Maudene.
Ellen has seen the most awful things in her career as a social worker but one moment of distraction changes her whole life and the life of her family and she ends up on the other side of the fence wishing with everything that she could go back and start the day over. This book shows the difference between outright abuse and neglect and accidents but sometimes social services and the media don’t see the distinction between the two. My heart broke in Ellen’s storyline when the awful thing happened my heart was racing and it was just really tough to read.
Jenny is spunky and courageous and luckily pretty street smart I liked her and was rooting for her to find a better life. Although her storyline was a bit too happily ever after and felt a little rushed I was still happy for her.
Tanya Eby’s narration as Jenny was very well done and believable but Kate Rudd’s narration was so hysterical it got really old, I can understand that in certain moments of this book the hysteria was needed but it was constant and it seemed to be all the characters are just screeching and whiny. I do understand this was a taut emotional book but I wish Rudd had dialed back a bit.
As I said this is a powerful book, I think this would be a good book for a bookclub because I think it would bring about a great discussion. I wasn’t a huge fan of the ending I felt both stories were rushed and a bit too tied up in a bow for my taste.
I so wanted to like this book, the description sounded like something I would really like but this one fell short for me. I won this book from library...moreI so wanted to like this book, the description sounded like something I would really like but this one fell short for me. I won this book from librarything early reviewers but had a hard time getting into it so got the audio hoping it would be better but for over half of the book all I wanted was for it to be over.
I love dual storylines in historical fiction and that was what I was expecting but this book is Romance, lots of sex (very descriptive) and once you get through that there is a little bit of a historical fiction storyline but not enough to save this one, IMHO. Also the characters are all pretty much unlikable and the whole stupid romance in the 1964 storyline is ridicules they fell in love in 5 minutes?? Give me a break! This book may have been better served if it just told Violet’s storyline because Vivian was annoying and her whole storyline revolved around this convoluted romance with someone she met and supposedly fell in love with in an afternoon.
Violet’s storyline started out strong then dwindled into idiocy, with many unbelievable things happening and I wanted more of the actual story of how …( no spoilers) than just the whole romance crap.
And the ending was all tied up in a little bow that made me throw-up a little in mouth, it was so saccharine.
Kathleen McInerney’s narration was very well done but couldn’t save me from wanting this book to end!
I may be in the minority here, this book has gotten a lot of buzz but, don’t be fooled by the historical fiction moniker this is straight up romance and not a good one!