Thursday, 23 February 2017

Walking Wounded by Anna Franklin Osborne - Blog Tour Review

I am extremely happy today to bring my review of Walking Wounded by Anna Franklin Osborne as part of the blog tour. 

Walking Wounded

Born at the end of the First World War, a young girl struggles to find her own identity in her big family and is pushed into a stormy marriage through a terrible misunderstanding from which her pride refuses to let her back down. As her own personal world begins to crumble, the foundation of the world around her is shaken as Germany once again declares war and her brothers and young husband sign up with the first wave of volunteers. 
Walking Wounded tells the story of those left behind in a Blitz-ravaged London, and of the web of loyalty, guilt and duty that shapes the decisions of the women awaiting the return of their men-folk as the war draws to a close. 
Spanning the period from the Armistice of the First World War to the exodus of the Ten Pound Poms to Australia in the 1950s, Walking Wounded is a family saga whose internal violence is mirrored by the world stage upon which it is set. 

My Review

I honestly can't remember the last time a book touched me quite as much as Walking Wounded. This book is beautiful, heartbreaking and real. 

Walking Wounded is beautifully written, the story is woven in such a way that keeps you fully immersed in the characters lives and you don't want to put the book down and leave them. You need to know what happened next. 

The characters are all extremely realistic and I fell in love with each and everyone of them....well except one of course, one I was horrified by and I found myself wishing that they would leave or would be prevented some way from returning. I think my absolute favourite character was Stanley, he was so strong and gentle and kind, he really brought out the best in poeple. The family setting was so warm and you could feel the love between them all and when one suffered they all suffered and when one was happy, they were all happy, It was a really good representation of what family life was like at the time, with several generations and family members all living together or extremely close by and doing everything together. 

Walking Wounded also shows clearly what life was life at home during the wars. It's not something you ever really think of, I think one of the only other books I've read that have covered anything even close is Goodnight Mr Tom by Michelle Magorian. It was so hard seeing how much people struggled with rationing and sleeping in the bunkers while bombs were dropped above their heads. They also had to deal with "day to day" heartbreak as well as the horror of war. It also showed the strength of people, how they picked up the slack of jobs that needed doing, worked hard and in secret to support the troops and came together to hold each other up. 

I sobbed, I laughed, I loved and I hated throughout this book and I cannot wait for more from Anna Franklin Osborne.

About The Author

Back in December I was lucky enough to have Anna as a guest on my Getting To Know... feature so for more information, please go check that out here

I have always worked in health care, and more recently in education, and like so many other parents, hit a tiny crisis a few years ago when I felt that my purpose in life had narrowed to not an awful lot more than dashing between my two jobs and being a mummy taxi.

I managed to find time to begin singing with a choir, and that helped me feel that I might have a more creative side to myself. One evening, my husband was out and, quite suddenly, I decided to Start Writing. I immediately hit the first obstacles of terrible handwriting and a broken laptop, so my writing career began that night in bed, typing into the note section of my smart phone, with no clear idea of what I wanted to say but resulting in a severe case of RSI and several short stories over the next few nights.

My husband was delighted that I had suddenly found this passion and kept encouraging me to write a novel, which I really felt I did NOT have in me. Later that summer, however, we were walking along a D-Day beach for no other grander reason than our ferry home from France being late, and I began telling our kids about my three great-uncles who were part of that day, and my grandmother who sewed parachutes for the paratroopers jumping over Normandy. Neil looked at me and smiled and said, ‘you do actually have a story there, you know….’

Walking Wounded was written over a period of a year, on a tiny tablet which I bought specifically because it fitted into my handbag – as I said, ‘if it’s not with me at all times, this just won’t happen.’ I wrote every day in 10 minute bursts while I sat in the school car-park waiting for my daughter to emerge from school, I wrote parked outside ballet lessons and maths lessons, I wrote early in the mornings while everyone was asleep.

Walking Wounded is a war story and family saga, focusing on those left behind whilst their men folk went to war, how they survived and how their relationships evolved through periods of violence, loss and reunion. The main story is about May, a young woman struggling to find her own identity as the youngest in a large family, forced into a stormy marriage through a mistake she is too proud to admit, and explores the web of loyalty, guilt and duty that shaped the decisions of the women awaiting the return of their men-folk as WW2 draws to a close. Spanning the period from the Armistice of the Great War to the exodus of the Ten Pound Poms to Australia in the 1950s, its internal violence is mirrored by the world stage upon which it is set.

Don't forget to check out the rest of the tour 

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