Two Sons: A brief insight into a new book review from mylittlebookblog

Good afternoon bloggers, hope you’ve having a wonderful day whatever you are doing on this gloomy Wednesday. Today I have a little bit of a teaser for you; I am currently working with Authoramp on a number of their releases and this will be a book reviewed in a little while so here’s an insight into the book and the author.

Two Sons: The story of two families divided by war and united in grief

It’s 1932 and Hitler and the Nazi Party are threatening to take control of Germany. There is a growing fear of another war.

Two families from vastly different backgrounds make their way to visit their sons’ war graves in the Flanders region of Belgium. John and Annie Williams are on their annual trip from England in memory of their son, Herbert, who had been killed while fighting at the battle of Passchendaele in 1917. Erich and Martina Lehmann have travelled from Germany to pay their respects to the memory of their son, Kurt who died in the same campaign. During their visit, the couples meet and in the wake of such devastation, confrontational events take place.

‘Two Sons’ moves from the war on the western front to the domestic lives of both families over a period of two decades. Having lost their sons in one conflict, both families fear that they may have to make further sacrifices in light of the growing threat.

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About the Author

Stewart Gill Owen was born in Blackburn and grew up in Lancashire. After art school, his career was in design and advertising, and as a lecturer in further and higher education. He now lives in Somerset with his wife Jessie. Their two daughters often visit, bringing the five grandsons with them. Stewart is a keen historian. It is the most immediate and ‘living’ history that has inspired Two Sons, which is his first book. Many of us still have links with the First World War. Stewart lost an uncle in Flanders and one of his ancestors was the poet Wilfred Owen. Something that happened so long ago is in many ways still with us.

Reviews

“This is a very engaging story with rich characterisation, a roller coaster of emotions and excellent period detail.” Bruce Payne, Amazon UK.

“I really enjoyed this read, and would congratulate the author on the way he handled such a sensitive subject and told the stories of two separate families intertwining the past with the present.” Weeki, Amazon UK.

“This book is a sensitive reminder of the impact the war had on both sides. A very good read, which I highly recommend.”  JR Hold, amazon UK.

“One hundred years on this is a very relevant book for young and old. Read it. You will giggle and cry, and be glad you did.” H P Johns, Amazon UK.

Background

“Some of my family history forms the basis of this book,” says Stewart, “I changed some of the characters, added to the detail of events and changed the name of the family. I wanted to tell a story that promoted the experiences of joy, pride, despair, love, grief and the fear of loss. Two Sons is about those emotions, it’s about the passion and the feelings that many of us share, regardless of nationality, class, faith and status.”

It’s a story about the consequences of the battle of Passchendaele that took place in Flanders in 1917. The book is based on a number of confrontational encounters that takes place between a British and a German family in Belgium in the summer of 1932.

“I chose the date because, in July of that year, Hitler and the Nazi party were threatening to take control of Germany” says Stewart, “and there was a growing fear in Belgium of the possibility of renewed hostilities.”  During the visit, heated disagreements and arguments take place. The story moves from the battlefields of the Western Front to the domestic life of the families over a period of two decades.

The choice of the battle of Passchendaele as the main campaign theme of the story was very deliberate. “Passchendaele or as it was also known, the Third Battle of Ypres,” explains Stewart, “became it’s known, not only for the scale of the carnage and the high level of casualties, but also for the mud and the creation of a desolate landscape that is so recognizable as a typical image of World War One.”

“Although it’s a work of fiction,” continues Stewart, “I wanted the detail to be as accurate as I could make it and this involved considerable in-depth research. My view is that this is a story that has never been told in any depth before. This is my first novel I know it wont be my last I’m already working on a sequel.”

Hope you enjoyed a little sneak peak into an upcoming review for mylittlebookblog, look out for the review coming soon!

Ignoring Gravity; Sandra Danby

Morning my lovely little bloggers. It will please many (I am sure) that I am finally getting through the massive pile of virtual books sat buring a hole in my email inbox! There are so many in there and I have vowed to get as many read and reviewed as physically possible before the deadline of the 30th when I start my internship! So once again, if you are waiting I promise it will appear on mylittlebookblog soon! Secondly a quick note is that this book is not yet available to buy but instead you can pre-order it, before it is published in September 2014! Additonally, if you want to keep up to date with the author and with other reviews of the book you can check out her blog here… http://sandradanby.com!

Rose Haldane is confident about her identity. She pulls the same face as her grandfather when she has to do something she doesn’t want to, she knows her DNA is the same as his. Except it isn’t: because Rose is adopted and doesn’t know it. Ignoring Gravity connects two pairs of sisters separated by a generation of secrets. Finding her mother’s lost diaries, Rose begins to understand why she has always seemed the outsider in her family, why she feels so different from her sister Lily. Then just when she thinks there can’t be any more secrets…

This is the perfect summer read; I read this sprawled in the garden, under the sun. It really is the perfect mix of drama, family, love, discovery and friendship. The first thing to note is the plausibility of the plotline; sometimes I read a book and I find myself questioning the reality of the situation. Here, it appears that the author has done some serious research and each of the plotlines weaves seamlessly together in which to create a dramatic but credible plotline that draws the reader in. I also really liked the way that the narrative skips between the two sisters; by writing the book in this way it allows the two different situations to be fully understood by the reader, and allowed a number of twists that helped the drive the story forward. The writing style is flawlessly descriptive and sophisticated, with brilliantly written cliffhangers that made me push forward devoring the book to understand what was going on. The book also has a number of very deftly written emotional moments; sometimes in books these can get a little cliched however they are managed with style and maturity here. In one scene, Rose has just found out a terrible secret, and rushes back to her flat. In her rush she bumps into a man she was really hoping not to see; but he follows her back, makes her peppermint tea, and puts her to bed. It is incredibly sweet and emotional and written with a great understanding of how to draw out a relationship in which to grab the readers attention.

Another thing to really note is the way the characters are incredibly well built up; Rose appears at first frail and whaif like, and doesn’t appear able to stand her ground. However as the book builds and she learns more and more about her past and her history she begins to grow in stature, becoming a little fighter who won’t take no for an answer. Lilly is also incredibly well-written; she has a motherly tone about her, but as Rose’s life appears to reach a rock bottom, Lilly suddenly also has to take stock of her life. Here she begins to seem vulnerable however the two sisters cling to one another and they both rise from the ashes of the difficult situation and offer support to the other. The relationship between them is very real, and the delicate but full description of the two characters helps to really cement the bond between the two in the readers head. This also allows for powerful relationships to be built between the minor characters creating a well-bodied plotline. Sometimes, characters can stay the same throughout the book and then suddenly they change, which I always find unbelivable but here they rise and fall throughout the book making the readers heart turn as each of the sisters finds out something new about herself or the other. Additonally, there is the thread of a romance, however it does not at any point overshadow the main story of Rose finding her new identity, but instead creates another string in which to gain the interest of the reader.

I was pulled along by this delighful book; the search for Rose’s real place in the world is a truly emotional but inspiring story of how certain secrets can poison the ones that we love most in the world. It is a brilliantly written book with a strong message about family. The characters are well written, the plotline is well researched, it is a lovely book that could teach all a message! A delight to read!

Follow Sandra Danby on social media:
@SandraDanby
http://www.facebook.com/sandradanbyauthor

http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6563021.Sandra_Danby
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