I received this email today a very eloquent review from a great friend of mine who is a teacher…I had to share this with you, she is also called Amanda.
I have been reading your book again and I’m not finished yet. I Just HAD to write and thank you and I HAD TO tell you how your book affected me.
When I met you for dinner, and you brought your book along, I read a bit there and then and I thought it would be an interesting book. (But I didn’t realise how it would impact when I read it.) I was more pleased that you, my friend, -that you had been published and I wanted to attend the Memorial Weekend book promotion.
There, I found a marvellous exhibition of all sorts of things- Items that in there own way told a story. It was a sunny room and there stood my friend, a published writer, smiling and welcoming her guests with her fine book display. It was with a huge sense of pride that I was seeing you and that I knew you, the author.
So I returned home and read a bit more. But I kept thinking to myself, I’m not sure about reading a book that will lead me into the trenches or the battle field. I mean, God knows how those men went into battle.
But then, one morning I got up early and I read the first 70 pages. As I turned the pages, all the details, the serious facts, the humour, the straight talk, the fear and the bravery opened up the narrative. I felt compelled to read on. Your grandad was an intelligent man and it was captivating, in a way that only a person who had experienced something first hand could capture your mind and lead you through his experience. It was a narrative that made no fuss or overdone sense of pride. It was not said with the falsity nor removed voice of a poet who imagined the trenches, like some major, or a writer like Kipling, who seems to “talk at” subject of war with his famous poem. No. Your book was not like that. Your book was every day war, with all the uncertainty and daily toil and implicit bravery, as one task led to the next. It was the way you have added facts and more importantly, the aspects of the interview, written with detail and poignancy. It was the way you led the reader through, with so much care to detail, and it hit me.
All at once I was sobbing in big gulps. And then After I’d read on a bit more, there were parts when I wanted to cheer! And then some of the time I would laugh at his cheeky way of telling us the lighter moments.
It also told me about a cosy room where you and your grandad sat, with cups of tea and biscuits- a grandad and his grandchild, and the friendship between them.
I have read text books on World War II. None could have told me this.
With much love and many thanks
Thank you for reading my blog.