- File Size: 835 KB
- Print Length: 274 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publisher: Cranbrook Press (January 3, 2018)
- Publication Date: January 3, 2018
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B0785S349X
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #26,825 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
The Alien Corn: from the author of The Chalky Sea Kindle Edition
|Length: 274 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled||
Matchbook Price: $0.99
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To those readers, like me, who have not read book 1 in the series, this is a standalone book. I never felt as if I was missing out from not reading book 1 first. But now, as I have discovered another brilliant writer, I will definitely read book 1. Enjoy.
The descriptions of life on the remote Ontario farm, far from the bright city lights, are vivid and transported me to a different world. I could picture Jim working in the cornfields under the summer sunshine or battling to clear the deep winter snowdrifts. I could identify with war bride Joan's difficulties in adapting to this alien life and settle down in her new environment. Whereas her son, Jimmy, with the adaptability of the young loves his new life. Her unsympathetic mother-in-law makes her daily struggle even more difficult and husband, Jim does not appear to appreciate how many sacrifices she has made in leaving her hometown and her family. He is experiencing a great deal of emotional trauma of his own, due to his participation in the brutal Italian campaign in World War II and his brief affair with a married woman whilst stationed in Britain, for whom he still harbours feelings. The addition of Jim's widowed sister-in-law to the mix; a beautiful woman to whom he was once engaged; adds extra spice to the tale.
I did wonder how Joan, and indeed Jim, managed to find the money to return to Britain, when they were struggling to buy a small house of their own in Canada. However, this was an enjoyable, easy read; a worthy sequel to the author's previous novel.
(This story was sent to me by the author pre-publication in return for an honest review.)
The description of PTSD is right on target as anyone who has been or is married to a combat veteran will know. Clare deftly weaves the effects of PTSD into the background of the characters, and that brings truth to the narrative and makes the characters real and relevant to people today. The other issue she addresses is the feeling of alienation so many foreigners when they relocate to a different country and the personal process they go through to feel "at home." It must have been particularly difficult for those people shortly after WWII as the sources of communication were so limited.
The characters' emotions and personal journeys are solid, natural, and real; the story-telling is first-class---I couldn't put the book down until I finished it. My only criticism is that I found the end to be a little abrupt; however, I loved this book and highly recommend it.
The story had a steady pace and the plot was interesting. I think I liked this a bit better than the Chalky Sea. There were heaps of interesting historical details that I really enjoyed.
I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys historical fiction with a focus on WW2.
I was given an advanced copy for free from the author in exchange for my honest review.
I have given this review willingly as one of the author's advance readers.