Homeland by Claire Francis
Claire paints a picture of Britain, specifically the Somerset levels in 1946, that is so far from life today that it could be in another country. The book is all about the tensions between the Polish soldiers from the second Polish Corps who are refusing to go back to Poland as it is now occupied, and the returning British soldiers.
Add in shortages, lack of housing, lack of work, difficulties in language, romance, and one of the coldest winters on record and it all makes an explosive mix.
The main characters are Wladyslaw Malinowski who is taken on by Billy Greer to help with the Withy harvest on his uncles farm in the heart of the Somerset levels. Then there is Lyndon Hanley the so called hero of the Burma Campaign, though his current behaviour is far from heroic. Finally there is Stella a local school teacher who has to choose between Lyndon and Wladyslaw..
The book has humour, and sadness and the death of one of the key characters triggers a series of events that bring the story to a tragic ending.
It is a very atmospheric, dramatic story and certainly an eye opener if life was really like that in 1946.
A book that can be well recommended as book 26 week 18 fiction 25 (8 on audio) non fiction 1 (falling slightly behind my target of just under two a week)
Red Crystal by Clare Francis
This book is all about the political troubles in the late 1960's and riots against the establishment. There is a new terrorist group in town called the Crystal Faction and they want to get in on the act – They are led by Gabriele Schroeder – a tough, daring and utterly fearless woman, who is totally at home killing for pleasure.
Special branch has got to put a stop to all the troubles and this means that Nick Ryder has to try and infiltrate the cell, by pretending to be a mature student. Sadly when results are not immediate, his superiors and the lack of cooperation from MI5 make his life much harder.
And of course the final part of the puzzle is the little rich girl (well not so little really) who is trying to do good but gets caught up with the terrorists having fallen for an Italian.
All good fun and Clare manages to hold the suspense right to the end of the book, making this book 11 week 6 fiction 11 (5 on audio) non fiction 0
Dyslexic doodles on photography, food (growing, cooking & of course eating), faith and other fascinating things. This is a personal blog expressing my views.