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The Wartime Book Club by Kate Thompson #Review

  The Wartime Book Club is a marvellous historical novel set on Jersey in World War Two. Written by Kate Thompson , it was published by Hodder $ Stoughton on February 13th. Jersey, 1943. Once a warm and neighbourly community, now German soldiers patrol the cobbled streets, imposing a harsh rule on the people of the island. Grace La Mottée, the island's only librarian, is ordered to destroy books which threaten the new regime. Instead, she hides the stories away in secret. Along with her headstrong best friend, postwoman Bea Rose, she wants to fight back. So she forms the wartime book club: a lifeline, offering fearful islanders the joy and escapism of reading. But as the occupation drags on, the women's quiet acts of bravery become more perilous - and more important - than ever before. And, when tensions turn to violence, they are forced to face the true, terrible cost of resistance . . . Based on astonishing real events, The Wartime Book Club is a love letter

Relativity by Antonia Hayes ** Blog Tour **

    It is time for my stop on the UK Blog Tour for the January 2017 paperback publication of relativity by Antonia Heyes.

The Blurb 

Ethan is an exceptionally gifted young boy, obsessed with physics and astronomy.

His single mother Claire is fiercely protective of her brilliant, vulnerable son. But she can’t shield him forever from learning the truth about what happened to him when he was a baby; why Mark had to leave them all those years ago.

Now age twelve, Ethan is increasingly curious about his past, especially his father’s absence in his life.  When he intercepts a letter to Claire from Mark, he opens a lifetime of feelings that, like gravity, will pull the three together again.

Relativity is a tender and triumphant story about unbreakable bonds, irreversible acts, and testing the limits of love and forgiveness.
My Thoughts
   Relativity is one of those books which stay in your mind after you have finished it. This is mainly due to the skilful way that Antonia Hayes has drawn the main characters. We find out more about them as the novel unfolds which leads us to question our initial impressions. It is interesting to observe the relationship between Claire and her son Ethan and then to see how his father, Mark's return affects them all. Some of the book is difficult reading but ultimately you realise that you are in safe hands. 

     There are three voices in this book, Ethan, Claire and Mark and you see the story through each of their eyes at different points. This is never confusing although you do question with Claire and Mark, at different points, how reliable their memories are. You realise how fragile life can be and how if either of them had made a different choice how different their lives might have been. I always enjoy a narrative with flashbacks and the glimpses of Mark's early life and family help you to see him, not as a monster, but a human being.

    Ethan is a talented young boy with a knowledge of physics which is far in advance of his age. I enjoyed all the references to the physics he sees around him and which he has a tremendous hunger to understand. You really feel for all the characters but especially for Ethan who is seen as different by his peers. It is lovely to see him make a friend in Alison who relates to him so strongly. 

    As a first novel, this is impressive. Based on events in the author's own life, you can sense that it is very close to her heart. This is a book which enriches the reader and with its clever plotting, one which keeps you enthralled to the end.

In short: a heart-warming tale which deals with difficult and harrowing events but which ultimately enriches the reader.

 About the Author

Antonia Hayes, who grew up in Sydney and spent her twenties in Paris, currently lives in London with her husband and son. Relativity is her first novel.

You connect with Antonia on
Twitter   |  Website   | Instagram  |

Thanks to Clara Diaz at Little, Brown publishers for a copy of the book and a place on the Blog Tour.

                          Check out the rest of the Tour today! 


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