1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
their day-to-day lives are ever filled with sights and sounds from a battle fought long ago--their memories never fade,
This review is from: Motherland: A Novel (Hardcover)
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Accomplished author William Nicholson struck a resonant chord with me as a reader in "Motherland", a sweeping tale of romance, human drama, and survival. I am deeply drawn to the poignancy, passion, and patriotism of the WWII era. I am in my early fifties, and the stories told to me by my mother and her parents of life during this time helped to shape the person I am today. I also had a very dear friend, an older gentleman who had served as a US Navy gunnery sighter aboard a noted WWII battleship in the Pacific. His vivid recollections of his combat experiences are just like photos in my own mind. "Motherland" begins with a young woman meeting her grandmother for the first time. Born out of wedlock to a disinterested father, Guy Caulder, Alice Dickinson is eager to pull the pieces of her disjointed heritage together. Surprisingly, during one of her rare shared moments with her father, he informs her that his mother is very much alive and living in Normandy, France. Alice journeys to meet her grandmother, Pamela Avenell, whose remembrances of her own mother, Kitty Teale, and the two men whom she loved, and was loved by in return: Ed Avenell and Larry Cornford are intertwined with the horrors and heroism of WWII. In Sussex, England, in 1942, Kitty was a young and pretty army driver who met Ed, a Royal Marine commando, and Larry, a liaison officer. Kitty and Ed soon fall in love, but Larry also loves Kitty. The two men go off to war, with Ed returning a war hero and claiming Kitty as his prize. However, the war which changed the world forever has left its mark on Ed, a mark which tragically remained indelible. As the years pass, the darkness which often overcomes Ed casts a shadow upon his life with Kitty, and she is more and more drawn to Larry for comfort. Eventually, after years of yearning, Kitty and Larry will be together, but not without great personal cost. "Motherland" is much more than a complex love story. It is the story of humankind in the midst of a mighty battle against an evil and insidious foe. While one side may eventually surrender the victory to its opponent, a war never really ends. Its effects are widespread and consuming, with spots of hope for humanity rising here and there from the ashes. William Nicholson has written a well-researched, thoughtfully-told tale of heartbreak and redemption. For many survivors of war, their day-to-day lives are ever filled with sights and sounds from a battle fought long ago--their memories never fade.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Dec 15, 2013 11:09:00 AM PST
Fred Charatan says:
While the three 5-star book reviews, especially this one by Virginia Campbell, described the loves of Ed, Larry, and Kitty, as members of the English upper class during the last three years of WW2, they don't write about the remarkable ability of author William Nicholson to bring to life all the people in 'Motherland'. As a retired psychiatrist, I admired his sensitive descriptions of their inner conflicts and anxieties, plus their dialogue with actual 'English-speak', which was so realistic of that era. He also vividly described the disastrous Dieppe Raid in 1942 which resulted in large casualties for the Allies, especially the Canadians. If captured by the Germans, Nicholson reminds us they faced Hitler's infamous 'Kommando-befehl' which ordered the handcuffing and execution of any commandos by the prison-camp guards. I can also verify his account of the British division of the Indian subcontinent into Hindustan and Pakistan in June 1947, with resulting widespread massacres ; I was a medical officer in the British army then. So I strongly recommend this well-written and well-researched book, with believable characters, with whom the reader can identify.
In reply to an earlier post on Dec 15, 2013 11:16:07 AM PST
Virginia Campbell says:
Thank you for your comments, Mr. Charatan.
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