Renee began the Throwback Thursday meme on her blog, “It’s Book Talk“ to share some of her old favorites as well as sharing books published over a year ago. Sounded like a good reason to join! I’ll be going back over my favorite authors and stories you might not have previously experienced. Hopefully, you’ll find either a story or author that interests you and you’ll check them out. (And, if you’d like to join the fun, you’re welcome to use Renee’s pic from her website. Just provide the link back to her please).
This week I am highlighting Jean Grainger, another terrific, prolific author who has written So Much Owed, which I reviewed on Goodreads and on this blog a year ago March. She has actually written a number of books including The Conor O’Shea series, of which I’ve read two. This novel was published by Amazon Digital Services on December 1, 2013. Ms. Grainger consistently runs four to five stars for her books.
Originally posted March 5, 2017 Read my full review here.
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 is obliged to overcome her own heartbreak to become the mother Edith’s children so badly need. James and Juliet are inseparable and incorrigible and the life blood of Dunderrig. As they grow up, they come of age into a world where despite the horrors of the past, war looms large yet again. From tranquil West Cork to wartime Belfast, from neutral Dublin to occupied France, the twins lives diverge in unforeseen ways as Dunderrig waits anxiously once more for the safe return of its children.
My Review (From Goodreads):
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 he’d made a pack to care for the other’s family in the event of the death of either of them.
The good doctor’s wife (Edith) 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 book is extremely compelling; impossible to put down, taking you through all the emotions including anger at Edith, who is more savagely political than clever. 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. I downloaded this book free from BookBub, so glad I did. Recommended for anyone who enjoys a good book, historical or otherwise.
WINNER OF THE 2016 AUTHORS CIRCLE NOVEL OF EXCELLENCE (From Amazon Authors page)
(Truncated) Hello and thanks for taking time out to check out my page. If you’re wondering what you’re getting with my books then think Maeve Binchy but with a historical twist. I was born in Cork, Ireland in 1971 from a large family of storytellers. I have worked as a history lecturer at University, a teacher of English, History and Drama in secondary school, a playwright, and a tour guide of my beloved Ireland. I am married with four children and live in a stone cottage in Mid-Cork with them and a bouncy lurcher/collie cross called Arnie.
My experiences leading groups, mainly from the United States, led me to write my first novel, ‘The Tour’. My observances of the often funny, sometimes sad but always interesting events on tours fascinated me. People really did confide the most extraordinary things, the safety of strangers I suppose. It’s a fictional story set on a tour bus but many of the characters are based on people I met over the years.
The sequel to The Tour, called Safe at the Edge of the World, follows Conor O’Shea once again as he takes another motley crew on a tour of Ireland. This time with a very odd couple aboard who seem to be hiding something…
My World War 2 novel, ‘So Much Owed’ is a family saga based in Ireland following the Buckley family of Dunderrig House…The history of the period was my academic specialty so I’m delighted to be able to use it in a work of fiction.
Shadow of a Century is set in New York in 2015 as well as in Dublin during the events of Easter Week 1916, where Irish men and women fought valiantly to rid our island of British Imperialism…
Many of the people who have reviewed my books have said that you get to know the characters and really become attached to them, that’s wonderful for me to hear because that’s how I feel about them too…If you buy one of my books I’m very grateful and I really hope you enjoy it. If you do, or even if you don’t, please take the time to post a review. Writing is a source of constant contentment to me and I am so fortunate to have the time and the inclination to do it, but to read a review written by someone on the other side of the world really does make my day. (See the complete author’s profile on Amazon here.)
More Throwback Thursday Blogs
Renee at Its Book Talk
Jill at Jill’s Book Cafe
Rebecca at The Book Whisperer
Lynne at Fictionophile
Sam at Clues and Reviews
Holly B at Dressedtoread
Deanna at DeesRadReads and Reviews
Amanda at Literary Weaponry
Annie at The Misstery
Mischenko at Read Rant Rock and Roll
Laurie at Cozy Nook Books
Ann Marie at LItWitWineDine
©2018 V Williams