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Pegasus Falling: Cypress Branches trilogy (Volume 1) Paperback – March 26, 2012

4.5 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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About the Author

William Edward Thomas was born in West London in 1925. He left The Brompton Oratory School when he was 14 and started work as a messenger at the BBC. When war broke out, he went to work with his father at a factory in Harrow. While still a teenager, William joined the army and was soon recruited in to the Parachute Regiment. By May 1945, he had been “dropped” in to a number of key battles and become a much decorated soldier. He was still only 19 years old. Following the war, William served in Palestine until 1948. William has six children. As they were growing up, he was working and studying in shifts as a merchant seaman and an engineer. In his mid fifties, he decided to work full time as a lab technician at his Alma Mater, The Open University and remained there until his retirement. It was during his retirement that he decided to set himself the challenge of writing a novel. The Cypress Branches is the result. William's health started deteriorating shortly after finishing The Cypress Branches and he was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease in 2006. After a decade-long battle against the illness, William passed away peacefully in February 2014, surrounded by his family. He was 88.
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Product Details

  • Series: Cypress Branches Trilogy
  • Paperback: 346 pages
  • Publisher: Acute Angle books (March 26, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0956229913
  • ISBN-13: 978-0956229915
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.8 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,999,967 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Pega­sus Falling : Cypress Branches tril­ogy (Vol­ume 1) by William E. Thomas is the semi-autobiographical novel of the author who served as a British para­trooper in World War II. Mr. Thomas' book was self pub­lished by his grand­son, Mike Har­ris who is a copy-editor and proof­reader, repub­lished the book in three parts.

Cap­tain Stan­ley Adam Mal­com Parker, known as Sammy (S.A.M. Mal­com), is a British cap­tain in the Para­chute Reg­i­ment dur­ing World War II. Dur­ing oper­a­tion Mar­ket he was cap­tured but after attack­ing an SS offi­cer, was sent to spend the rest of the war in a con­cen­tra­tion camp. The same impul­sive­ness which has got­ten him to the camp also helped him to survive.

Naomi is a beau­ti­ful Jew­ess who has lost all her fam­ily to the gas cham­bers and is now used as a con­cu­bine of the Nazi com­man­der. Sammy and Naomi help keep each other alive dur­ing the hor­rors in the camp, but are sep­a­rated once they are lib­er­ated. Sammy, whose anger knows no bounds, gets intro­duced to the priv­i­leged diplo­mat Les­ley Anne "Car­rie" Car­ring­ton who is a beau­ti­ful, no non­sense lady. Car­rie and Sammy find their way into Pales­tine, serv­ing their coun­try while try­ing work their way out of the hor­rors they have witnessed.

Pega­sus Falling : Cypress Branches tril­ogy (Vol­ume 1) by William E. Thomas was an amaz­ing and emo­tional jour­ney through­out World War II and the after­math. The obser­va­tions made by Mr. Thomas are incred­i­bly accu­rate and stand the test of time, he makes intel­li­gent, thought­ful and remark­ably astute obser­va­tions about the way the super­pow­ers have divided the spoils amongst them, the orderly tran­si­tion of world power from Eng­land to Amer­ica and the redraw­ing of the world's borders.
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Format: Kindle Edition
When I began this novel I believed it was going to be a war/Holocaust based novel and I was quite wrong. Although it begins in this period and both these events are central to the whole novel as it unfolds, this novel is much more preoccupied with the Jewish question and also the personal romantic love story of several of the individuals involved.
Captain Sammy Parker is one of those characters you don't forget in a hurry and as his story is followed throughout Arnhem, Matthausen Concentration Camp and then in Palestine, he is surrounded by other fascinating and interesting characters.
I am a huge fan of historical fiction, particularly that set during and in the immediate aftermath of the Second World War and I particular enjoyed the first part of this novel, which took place in those periods. However, in the second part we find Sammy in Palestine, close friends with a group of Jews, some of whom experienced the complete loss of their family life and almost their livelihood in Germany in the 1940s. The second half of this novel is harder going as elongated discussions between Sammy, his new found love Carrie and their Jewish friends reach some very deep and interesting political points.
Thomas has succeeded in creating an emotionally powerful novel which is full of wonderful characters, my favourite of whom is Carrie by the end, a woman in the unlikely role of a high position in the Foreign Office who becomes very close to Sammy and his friends. The end is also extremely powerful and fitting, however sad.
I would love to read further works by the author.

Beth Townsend - The Kindle Book Review
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I bought this book for my Kindle for a ridiculously low price and was rewarded many times over. The story line is well covered by other reviewers so I'll stick to my impressions. The characters are passionate and very well crafted by Mr. Thomas. The concentration camp experiences by some of the protagonists were horrific - and the author did a fantastic job of painting a very bleak inmate experience. No human should ever have to experience this. The book is very heavily laced with a political screed as relates to the UN/US creation of the State of Israel in 1948. The author is very careful to show the reader his strong doubt as to the validity of Israel's creation even as he has deep concern for the plight of Holocaust-era Jewry. I look forward to the next instalment in the trilogy - even as I regret that Mr Thomas - wasting away in his dementia - will never pen another work.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Brilliant is the only way to describe Pegasus Falling and the extraordinary talent of Author William E. Thomas in the first book of his incredible epic work, The Cypress Branches. A masterpiece of historical fiction, the book captivates the reader who is introduced to a spirited young British World War II Paratrooper, Captain Stanley Adam Malcolm (Sammy) Parker in 1944.

In Arnhem, his unit is tasked with defending an important bridge from the German Army. Forced to surrender and taken to a POW camp, he ultimately finds himself in a concentration camp. There, Sammy meets and befriends Naomi, a Jewish woman, who after the death of her family, makes extraordinary sacrifices to save her life.

Allied victory in Europe brings liberation of the camps and re-assimilation to the victims of war. During his rehabilitation, Sammy discovers that the scars of war run deep. While recovering, he meets a beautiful young British Foreign Officer, Lesley Carrington, whom he finds quite attractive. The adventures that follow bring many surprises.

Mr. Thomas' eloquent descriptions and character development paint a vivid picture of the atrocities of war, post-war Europe and the distinct personalities that are woven together in this moving tale.

The dialogue throughout will delight, tantalize and move the reader with its witty and philosophical exchanges about the social, political and economic issues confronting the world during the war and its aftermath, as the story moves to the complexities of Palestine.

Pegasus Falling has a magical and mesmerizing effect, revealing Sammy--mind, heart and soul. We feel all his emotions--his pain, passion, and love! I will read this book many times over to again experience this literary gem!
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