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So Much Owed

4.28  ·  Rating details ·  2,161 ratings  ·  185 reviews
Christmas 1918 - Dunderrig House, West Cork, Ireland. Dr Richard Buckley returns to his beloved Dunderrig, disillusioned and damaged by the futility of war. At his side is Solange Allingham, his best friend's widow who has lost everything she ever loved. Richard's wife Edith is bitter at what she sees as her husband's betrayal of his country by wearing a British uniform. A ...more
Paperback, 374 pages
Published December 2nd 2013 by Createspace Independent Publishing Platform (first published December 1st 2013)
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4.28  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,161 ratings  ·  185 reviews

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Jan 18, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: historical
It's rarely that I can't finish a book, but I'm 20% through this one and can't move on. I'm just so tired of cliche; the plot, the characterisations, the writing.... I can see a lot of people loved this but it's not for me.
Feb 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is an excellent historical fiction book. The plot is well developed as are the characters. I am definitely pleased to have been introduced to this author via Good Reads. While I thoroughly enjoyed Shadow of A Century, I can see Jean's maturity as a writer develop with this book. It is a book I did not want to stop reading, so I highly recommend it to anyone who likes reading historical fiction.
Sep 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
So Much Owed: An Irish World War 2 Story is by Jean Grainger. My first reaction on completing this book was “WOW!”. Words just escaped me. I had started the book last night and read off and on all night, between catnaps. It was simply too good to put down. What people will do to protect the ones they love is amazing. The book does take place mainly in Southern Ireland just prior to and during World War 2.
Dr. Richard Buckley returned to Dunderrig, Ireland after World War I with the wife of his v
Oct 12, 2017 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: freebie
FREE on Amazon today (10/12/2017)!
Shannon Baringhaus
All and all, a good story with fantastic characters!

While there are parts of this book that I felt were too long and other that weren’t expanded upon enough, the development of the characters turned out to be extraordinary. By the second half of the book, I couldn’t wait to hear what their lives would bring and I’m sad to see it end. It was a great story of one family’s journey through much hardship and happiness.
Mar 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
Jean Grainger is a good storyteller. I cared about these people and felt sad when the book ended. I think that is a good recommendation.
Janice Reads
Mar 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Begins at the end of WW I and continues through most of WW II. Again, may favourite genre of historical fiction. The intertwining of lives, of events, of doing things during wartime that one would not do otherwise. Such a gripping story, with the full range of human feelings and experiences. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this masterfully told story.
Sep 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017
Stumbled upon this book randomly and I couldn't put it down!
Dana Sullivan
Jul 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I tend to stay away from historical fiction, although I really don't know why -- this book was really well done. Well-developed characters and a solid story. Highly enjoyed this.
Michelle Hoffman
So Much Owed

I really enjoyed reading So Much Owed. The depth that Ms. Grainger uses in her book is fantastic. I'm not a big fan of history, but she made me understand what life was like during the time frame of the book.
Charles Ray
Nov 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When Dr. Richard Buckley returned to him home in Dunderrig after service in France in WWI, he was disillusioned with war and only wanted to be with his family. Returning with him was Solange Allingham, the widow of his best friend. Unfortunately, Buckley’s wife, Edith, bitter at him for serving in the British Army, sworn enemies of the nationalist Irish, becomes even more withdrawn after the birth of twins, James and Juliet, leaving them to Solange’s care. Eventually, Edith leaves him and goes t ...more
Jean Kelly
Mar 21, 2017 rated it liked it
good book to read at the beach. Though some parts of the story seemed far fetched the characters did draw me into caring what happened to them. It paints a picture of 'neutral' Ireland during both World Wars.
Jun 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I absolutely loved this book. It is a beautifully told story about the effects of war and the choices one makes in choosing to marry. It also explores the naiveté of love and attraction. The main characters had depth and I felt I knew them.
Feb 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
Dr Richard returns from the war disillusioned by all he has seen. His wife can't understand why he wore a British uniform. Edith gives birth to twins and then disappears into her own world. His best friend 's widow Solange helps with the children as their mother is no longer available. It's an intriguing story of people and their lives during a war. Amazing story by a great author
Jan 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
I like this story, the characters and the environment. It is a story full of emotions, which reveals love, friendships and bravery in a world that changes due to the war.
It seems that you will be into the life of the characters and it will be difficult to left the book before its end.
I received this book from InstaFreebie.
Aug 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
So Much Owed - An awesome, must read book. WWII is the time frame and the story is set in Ireland and England. Interesting, multidimensional characters that keep the reader caring about them and their journey during the war. There's past history, WWI and the Troubles, faced by some of the characters that shape the decisions made during WWII. The storyline is mesmerizing and intense, immersing the reader in a world of joy, pain, sorrow and happiness. Ms. Grainger is a talented storyteller and I e ...more
Regina K. Himes
Jul 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So Much Owed

So many very detailed reviews of the storyline have already been left, and it's not my preference to offer that anyway; a story synopsis is always provided that's carefully worded not to provide any pesky spoilers after all. What I do want to leave here is a strong recommendation for anyone who enjoys being completely drawn into the world's of families, history, loves, and, truly, just the amazing beauty of stepping into the lives and minds of practically real characters as they exp
Jun 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Wow - This is an amazing story of three generations of life starting in 1918 with Richard Buckley returning from sacrificially serving as a medical doctor for the British to his cold, uncaring and unresponsive wife, Edith. It doesn't help Edith much that Solange, Richard's best friend's wife also returns with him from medical service without her husband and the love of her life who died in the last days of 'the troubles' as Richard liked to call it. The story goes on through the birth of twins, ...more
Feb 23, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I was really enjoying this book! Christian values are important to me, and I didn't care for a couple of 'F-Bombs' earlier in the book, but kept reading. I really thought I would be able to recommend it...but then Solange, a sort of stepmother, is remembered as having told the pretty young lady whom she had raised from birth that "I know you did not have sex with Danny. It was one of the reasons I knew you and he were wrong for each other." Then she goes on to say, "I know the nuns (I'm not Cath ...more
Feb 20, 2018 rated it liked it
Christmas 1918 - Dunderrig House, West Cork, Ireland. Dr Richard Buckley returns to his beloved Dunderrig, disillusioned and damaged by the futility of war. At his side is Solange Allingham, his best friend's widow who has lost everything she ever loved. Richard's wife Edith is bitter at what she sees as her husband's betrayal of his country by wearing a British uniform. After giving birth to twins, she withdraws into a silent world, finally leaving her family for strange new bedfellows. Solange ...more
Aug 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
The work started rather slowly. However, I am so glad I hung with it. In the first third you might think you have predicted certain outcomes. But you'd be wrong. Awaiting you are great surprises and moral dilemmas. The story gets increasingly complex, engaging and exciting right to the end. I might have given it 5 stars except that it lacks the language and style that would make it a truly literary work.

I have not read any more of this author's books, but I plan to. I suspect she has the ability
Marty Mcintyre
May 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book starts at the end of WWI and illustrates the differing attitudes in Ireland toward those Irishmen who wore a British Uniform. Dr. Richard Buckley returns home and treats all of his patients with dignity and respect. He neither informs to the British or the IRA when he treats one of their wounded. This book follows his life through repatriation, the birth of his twins and the estrangement from his cold-hearted wife. On the eve of WWII his wife, now married to a German, even though she h ...more
Kathryn Barnett
May 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Jean Grainger

This is a wonderful, poinent story about an Irish family through two world wars. That being said, it is not the usual type of war story or even the usual type of family.
Richard and his friend Jeremy are both doctors during World War 1. After just before Jeremy is killed Richard had promised that he and his wife would take care of Jeremy's wife Solange should anything ever happen to him.
This is the beginning of a family full of love, friendship, and loss. The
Kathy Averbeck
Mar 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I loved all the characters in this book. The author made them all so real. It was not hard at all to keep track of who was who throughout the story which was told over a 20 year period. As the story progressed, I could not stop reading it because I needed to know what was going to happen. I learned more about Irish history, which until recently I really knew nothing about it. I've read several books set during WWII and enjoyed reading one like this. It is not fiction but people did things like w ...more
Jan 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book was a page turner. The first few pages, it was going to be just another war/love story maybe with a slight twist but that twist got bigger and more effective and drew you in. The story leads are shared by a number of people, which in itself keeps it intriguing. The background story of the history of WWI, the build-up to WWII, the fight for Irish independence and its repercussions on those historical events and finally, the lovely story of life in West Ireland bring a beautiful setting ...more
Jan 30, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I thought the book had some good elements, I wanted to like it more than I did. There was just something flat about it to me. There was to much dialogue about how much the characters loved each other as if we as readers needed more and more of a reminder of how close they were. And The twins just seemed to childish for the time period they lived in and everything going on around them. There were some very nice points, but they just get swallowed up by the constant reminders of how close everyone ...more
Oct 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book, but I have to admit, there were parts I was unhappy about, particularly with Juliet's storyline. It jumped from the beginning of something to just about the end. I don't want to give any spoilers, but I went from being apprehensive (oh no, how will she handle this) to months later....oh yeah, here's what happened. That was really disappointing. The last part of her story felt kind of manipulative and coincidental, too. However, that said, I still enjoyed the book and ...more
Ms Rita Crawford
Another fab book totally different from her previous book focusing more on life before and after WW2
Very informative not only about Irish history and life at that time but that of other countries affected.
Then there was a spice of family life thrown on which didn't focused on any particular gender but showed how war and circumstances can impact on both sexes.
Ms Grainger becoming on of my favs,
Love her non judgemental view and wide range of information whilst dealing with sensitive subjects wit
Cynthia H. Osborne
Great Read

For an avid reader, I don't typically review books due to the fact that I would be writing constantly. However, I feel this book deserved a review.
This book had all the elements I love in a novel. Historical fiction is my favorite genre. This book was well researched and also gave a different perspective on WW II due to the Irish Cork setting. The author writes in a beautifully flowing style which was such a pleasure to read. The characters were well drawn in order to comprehend their
Diane Raines
Sep 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Exciting story

I’m becoming a huge fan of Jean Grainger. This story holds your imagination throughout. This is a story of the impact of war on two generations who endured the violence of the Irish war for independence and both world wars. The characters are brave, determined and humanly flawed. I held my breath at points not wanting to know what happened next and not being able to turn away. This story stays with you.
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Jean Grainger was born in Cork, Ireland. She has been a tour guide of her beloved home country, a teacher, a university lecturer and a playwright. She began writing fiction at the suggestion of her clients on tours, many of whom were sure all the stories she told them would make for a great book. Her first book, The Tour, has become a Number 1 bestseller on Amazon. It tells the story of a disparat ...more
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“From the outside, it was barely recognisable. Gaping holes in the walls and piles of smoking rubble had irrevocably altered the once imposing facade of l’Hôpital Saint Germain. The Allied propaganda machine had claimed the Battle of Amiens as a great victory – a turning point, spelling an end to the horrific futility of trench warfare. It was here in Amiens, the victors crowed, that the Germans had stumbled their first steps towards surrender. Yet as Dr Richard Buckley picked his way through the decimated city, he saw nothing about Amiens to suggest a city basking in the glory of victory. Instead, he found himself thinking: So this is what winning looks like. He” 0 likes
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