So Much Owed: An Irish World War 2 Story by Jean Grainger
Genre: Best Seller’s Rank #2 in Kindle eBooks, Literature & Fiction
Publisher: Amazon Digital Services, LLC
Publication Date: December 1, 2013
So Much Owed – Great Cover
Early protagonist Dr. Richard Buckley survives The Great War, but as with present day PTSD, not without scars–visible or not. He has seen far more than he ever wanted and it still tears him up.
His wife, Edith, bears twins James and Juliet, the latter of whom is spirited enough for both she and her much more reticent twin, James. Dr. Buckley is sickened at heart, but tries to take his place in his beloved Dunderrig, (West Cork) Ireland to serve as physician. He has brought with him the French bride, Solange Allingham, widow of his best friend, with whom they’d shared a pack to care for the other’s family in the event of the death of the other.
The good doctor’s wife is beyond bored with the town and their way of life and is really not interested in raising the twins. The duty and pleasure falls to Solange as she takes on the role of nanny. The story follows the twins as they become the protagonists, maturing into the second world war.
The artistic James follows his path rediscovering his birth mother, while his sister follows hers–right smack into the heart of the action in Europe. The characters are fleshed out enough that you rejoice with their triumphs and weep with their sorrows. The depiction of the war and associated memories are brutal. The dialogue must have been written in a diary at the time–it is so natural, but more than that, we are allowed to share in Solange’s native language.
The novel captures your intense interest from the beginning. The story-line is extremely compelling; impossible to put down, taking you through all the emotions including anger at Edith, who is more savagely political than clever. The climax weaves in the conclusion you’ve crossed your fingers and held your breath for.
Poignant plot, beautifully fleshed out characters, suspenseful; the book could have been a perfect 5 stars had it enjoyed the services of an additional editor–so I’ll have to downgrade to 4 1/2 stars–rounded up. Recommended for anyone who enjoys a good book, historical or otherwise.
Rosepoint Publishing: Five of Five Stars – This one’s a winner!
The Author: Jean Grainger was born in Cork, Ireland to a large family of storytellers. She has worked extensively in education, teaching, as a playwright, and a tour guide. The history of this period was her academic specialty. Married with four children, she lives in a stone cottage in Mid-Cork. She has continue to write, including her beloved Ireland in her novels. ©2017 Virginia Williams