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Far from Home by T A Williams #Review #BeneathItalianSkiesBook3

  As ever, I am delighted to feature another romance by T A Williams , set in beautiful Italy. Far from Home was published by Canelo on May 9th. The secrets of the past will unlock her future… Working in the fast-paced foreign exchange market in Canary Wharf, Amy never expected her job to drive her to collapse. With her doctor advising she take a month off work, when Amy receives a solicitor’s letter informing her of a surprise inheritance in Italy, the timing couldn’t be more perfect. But who on earth has left her a house in the sleepy Tuscan hills? As she gets to know the town and its inhabitants, Amy discovers more about the mysterious man who named her in his will. Shocking family secrets come to light, leaving Amy questioning the life she knew. The town of Sant’Antonio holds more than just secrets. Here, Amy meets Adam, a renowned TV journalist whose documentaries take him to dangerous places. But as their attraction grows, so do Amy’s worries. Her life is in England,

To All The Living by Monica Felton #Giveaway #Imperial War Museum Classics

 

“If poetry was the supreme literary form of the First World War then, as if in riposte, in the Second World War, the English novel came of age.  This wonderful series is an exemplary reminder of that fact.  Great novels were written about the Second World War and we should not forget them.’         WILLIAM BOYD

 


Today I am delighted to feature another in the recently released Imperial War Museum Wartime Classics Series: To All The Living by Monica Felton. I have a great giveaway for you to enter with the chance to win a print copy of the book. Details on how to enter are at the foot of this post. (UK & ROI only).

First published in 1945, To All the Living takes place in a munitions factory throughout 1941 in Blimpton, a place ‘so far from anywhere as to be, for all practical purposes, nowhere.’   The novel gives a lively account of the experiences of a group of men and women in the factory from both a top down and bottom up perspective, detailing the triumphs and tragedies of a diverse list of characters.  It is wide-ranging in the themes it touches on, including class, sexism, socialism, fear of communism, workers’ rights, anti-semitism and xenophobia.  Much of it was based on the author’s own experiences in the Ministry of Supply in the first years of the war, and it is one of the best depictions of factory life during wartime, providing the reader with a fascinating insight into this vital aspect of Britain’s home front.

Factory work, as depicted in the novel, could be exhausting and repetitive, with workers often receiving low pay.  Initially work was on a voluntary basis which meant there was always a shortage of labour.  As the war progressed, conscription for women was introduced in December 1941 to help stem the shortages.  By 1945, 6.7 million women were contributing to the war effort out of a population of 48 million with a further 2.5 million in the voluntary sector.  Only the Soviet Union mobilized a higher percentage of women for the war effort and the novel reflects the experiences of a tiny proportion of these women.


The work undertaken by women at munitions factories will also be explored in IWM’s new Second World War Galleries with personal items belonging to a worker at the Leeds based Blackburn Aircraft Factory on display for the first time when they open in October of this year.

 

About the Imperial War Museums Wartime Classics series

 
In September 2019, to coincide with the 80th Anniversary of the outbreak of the Second World War, the IWM published the first four titles in a fiction series - the Imperial War Museum Wartime Classics. Patrol is the next in the series.

Alan Jeffreys, (Senior Curator, Second World War, Imperial War Museums) has written an introduction to each book that sets them in context and gives the wider historical background.  He says, ‘researching the Wartime Classics has been one of the most enjoyable projects I’ve worked on in my years at IWM.   It’s been
very exciting rediscovering these fantastic novels and helping to bring them to the wider readership they so deserve’. 


IWM  IWM (Imperial War Museums) tells the story of people who have lived, fought and died in conflicts involving Britain and the Commonwealth since the First World War.

Our unique collections, made up of the everyday and the exceptional, reveal stories of people, places, ideas and events. Using these, we tell vivid personal stories and create powerful physical experiences across our five museums that reflect the realities of war as both a destructive and creative force. We challenge people to look at conflict from different perspectives, enriching their understanding of the causes, course and consequences of war and its impact on people’s lives.

IWM’s five branches which attract over 2.5 million visitors each year are IWM London, IWM’s flagship branch that recently transformed with new, permanent and free First World War Galleries alongside new displays across the iconic Atrium to mark the Centenary of the First World War; IWM North, housed in an iconic award-winning building designed by Daniel Libeskind; IWM Duxford, a world renowned aviation museum and Britain's best preserved wartime airfield; Churchill War Rooms, housed in Churchill’s secret headquarters below Whitehall; and the Second World War cruiser HMS Belfast. 


You can read an extract of From the City, From the Plough here , read an extract from Trial by Battle here , read a review on Plenty Under the Counter here and a guest post on Eight Hours from England here  and a review of Patrol here  and a review of Warriors for the Working Day here.

About the Author


Monica Felton (1906 – 1970) was a feminist, socialist, historian, peace activist and a pioneering proponent of town planning.  She went to University College, Southampton and then did a Phd at the LSE.  In 1937 she was elected a member of the London County Council representing St Pancras South West.  During the Second World War she served in the Ministry of Supply, an experience she reflected in To All the Living.  In 1942 she became a Clerk of the House of Commons.

 

After the war she became involved in town planning, serving as Chair for the Peterlee and Stevenage Development Corporations.  However, she was fired from this post after taking an unauthorized trip to North Korea on behalf of the Women’s International Democratic Federation in 1951.  On her return from this trip she accused American troops of atrocities and British complicity.  There was a media and establishment backlash and even accusations of treason. As a result she became increasingly isolated in Britain and moved to India in 1956.  She died in Madras (modern day Chennai) in 1970. 

 

Book link: To All The Living by Monica Felton  is published by IWM and can be pre-ordered here:   www.iwmshop.org.uk at the online IWM shop.’  

Thanks to IWM and Anne Cater of Random Things Tours for the giveaway and a place on the tour. 


Check out the rest of the tour!

 


Giveaway (UK and ROI only)



To win a print copy of To All The Living, just Follow and Retweet the pinned tweet at @bookslifethings and good luck!
 
Closing date is October 1st 2021 and there is one winner.    
 
*Terms and Conditions –  UK & ROI only  The winner will be selected at random via Tweetdraw from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize. I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.
  


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