#Blogtour A Song Of Isolation by Michael J Malone @michaelJmalone1 @OrendaBooks @annecater #RandomThingsTours #ASongOfIsolation

A Song Of Isolation by Michael J Malone. Orenda September 17th 2020

Book Synopsis
Film star Amelie Hart is the darling of the silver screen, appearing on the front pages of every newspaper. But at the peak of her fame she throws it all away for a regular guy with an ordinary job. The gossip columns are aghast: what happened to the woman who turned heads wherever she went?
Any hope the furore will die down are crushed when Amelie’s boyfriend Dave is arrested on charges of child sexual abuse. Dave strongly asserts his innocence, and when Amelie refuses to denounce him, the press furore quickly turns into physical violence, and she has to flee the country.
While Dave is locked up with the most depraved men in the country and Amelie is hiding on the continent, Damaris, the victim at the centre of the story, is also isolated – a child trying to make sense of an adult world…
Breathtakingly brutal, dark and immensely moving, A Song of Isolation looks beneath the magpie glimmer of celebrity to uncover a sinister world dominated by greed and lies, and the unfathomable destruction of innocent lives… in an instant.

My Review

The scope of A Song Of Isolation was wide ranging from Amelie Hart, film star, Dave, ordinary bloke, to Damaris, a young girl living her everyday life. Malone took these three individuals and threw them into a whirling melting pot that made for intense and thrilling reading.

From the start Amelie and Dave’s relationship appeared on the brink but Malone put that on the backburner as Dave found himself in prison accused of child sex abuse. Amelie and Dave’s parents threw all their efforts into proving his innocence but Malone didn’t give us that happy outcome, instead he plunged us into maelstrom of lies and deceit. For Amelie, it was the trauma of a past event, whose memory pushed into the present as Malone sent her to France, to flee the media onslaught, and the disappearance of her money. A pervading sense of being watched meant she was never far away from what she wanted to leave behind. The trust of friends and those with whom she worked came into question and it allowed Malone to highlight the fickleness of the showbiz world, the media’s need to infiltrate every aspect of a persons personal life no matter the hurt it caused nor the inflated nature of the material published in print and on social media.

For Dave the harsh world of life behind bars was stark and brilliantly portrayed, the ever present need to act in a certain way, to toe the line, to be wary of those around him, filled you with unease, that something could happen at any time. What I admired most was Malone’s ability to convey Dave’s resigned sense of hopelessness, of trial by media as well as the courts, guilt assumed before he even stepped into a court room.

Then we had Damaris, the young girl at the centre of the storm, innocent, confused, never allowed to fully relate her story. Malone treated her story with great sensitivity, compassion, never exaggerated, but maintained a balanced perspective. What he conveyed so brilliantly was her emotional trauma, her bewilderment and lack of understanding, her ability to suppress what happened to the back of her mind, until years later when the actions of her mum and Uncle began to unlock memories. When he did unlock them it was careful and slow, like cogs on a machine that needed oiling to run faster and the final realisation of what happened pushed her to take action.

The final pages were a whirlwind of emotion and truth, of recriminations and justice that left you quite breathless but also with a sense of satisfaction. Why I am not going to reveal as that is for potential readers to discover.

A Song Of Isolation was one those novels operated on a two tier system. Malone had that wonderful ability to tell a story, to keep the reader immersed, but also to examine what is currently so pervasive within society, the role of social media and the impact simple words can have on an individuals life. When you looked at Amelia you saw how once she relished her success, her time in the spotlight, but how far should the media go when that star wishes to retreat to the background to live a life out of the spotlight. Should we respect that or should she have accepted that she was public property, fair game for the media both online and in print? And what of Dave, subjected to a barrage of media attention, of perceived knowledge that effectively ruined his life?

We will all have our own opinions and I didn’t think Malone was preaching or telling us the answers, his role was to make us think, to question , but ultinately to entertain, which he did with aplomb.

Once again Malone has demonstrated what a fine and accomplished author he has become.

I would like to thank Orenda for a copy of A Song Of Isolation to read and review and to Anne Cater of Random Things Tours for inviting My Bookish Blogspot to participate in the blogtour.

About the author

Michael Malone is a prize-winning poet and author who was born and brought up in the heart of Burns’ country. He has published over 200 poems in literary magazines throughout the UK, including New Writing Scotland, Poetry Scotland and Markings. Blood Tears, his bestselling debut novel won the Pitlochry Prize from the Scottish Association of Writers. His psychological thriller, A Suitable Lie, was a number-one bestseller, and the critically acclaimed House of Spines, After He Died and In the Absence of Miracles soon followed suit. A former Regional Sales Manager (Faber & Faber) he has also worked as an IFA and a bookseller. Michael lives in Ayr.

#Blogtour Other Girls Like Me by Stephanie Davies @Stephanie5Davie @BedazzledInk @MidasPR #OtherGirlsLikeMe

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Other Girls Like Me by Stephanie Davies Bedazzled Ink Press September 1st 2020

Book Synopsis

Till now, Stephanie has done her best to play by the rules—which seem to be stacked against girls like her. It doesn’t help that she wants to play football, dress like a boy, and fight apartheid in South Africa—despite living in rural middle England—as she struggles to find her voice in a world where everything is different for girls.

Then she hears them on the radio. Greenham women—an irreverent group of lesbians, punk rockers, mothers, and activists who have set up camp outside a US military base to protest nuclear war—are calling for backups in the face of imminent eviction from their muddy tents. She heads there immediately, where a series of adventures—from a break-in to a nuclear research center to a doomed love affair with a punk rock singer in a girl band—changes the course of her life forever. But the sense of community she has found is challenged when she faces tragedy at home.

My Review

Other Girls Like Me took me back to my teenage years as I watched the news and saw the furore the women at Greenham Common caused. I wasn’t sure I fully understood their actions, their mentality or was even aware of the whole LGBT community, which at the time wasn’t seen as the norm within society. Fast forward to today and the LGBT community is alive, thriving and generally accepted, but for me personally I still wanted to understand their thoughts, their own view on society and the world around them.

Davies, lifted the lid on that world in a truly eloquent and deeply personal way, from her life growing up in an average family, to her right of passage at Greenham Common. One thing that stood out was her struggle from a very young age, not just within her family, to be treated as an equal to the opposite sex, to be allowed to play football, to go on their football trips and not be pigeonholed into her girls corner.

The clashes with her parents only served to emphasis their lack of understanding, even if they held some of the same believes regarding nuclear weapons and apartheid. I found her relationship with her father particularly interesting and at times immensely moving, as I felt she tried and often failed to gain his respect and indeed his admiration for her endeavours.

Her young life was one of discovery of her political and ethical views, but more an exploration of her sexuality. The expectation that the obligatory boyfriend was the norm, even that one boyfriend exerted control over every aspect of her life, overrode many of her decisions, and you desperately wanted her to have that light bulb moment when the realisation that another world and other decisions were open to her.

When that light bulb finally did switch on, her life became all the more fascinating and I loved the descriptions of her life in Greenham Common. Davies gave you a real feeling of camaraderie, of women, who looked out for each other, lived how they wanted to live, found freedom to express their common views and opinions. Their concentrated actions against the Cruise missiles were often hit and miss, with numerous arrests and clashes with military and police but that didn’t deter only solidified their objectives and their actions. In their midst you could see Davis grow and mature, but you sensed she still wasn’t happy, that she hadn’t found her own voice until one night and a family trauma changed it all.

Yes, it was upsetting for her, but in other ways it was a hidden blessing, a forced detachment from those around her, breathing space to grieve and to think for herself. As if grief wasn’t enough, an impending court case and the impending threat of prison added to her anguish. Yet Davies was a fighter and you admired her determination to defend herself, the hours of research and practice she put in. You felt it gave her purpose and direction, empowerment and beliefs in her own decisions and capabilities, in essence it forced her to take control of her life and its trajectory.

The court case itself was thrilling, tense, as you could so easily have imagined yourself in a novel rather than someone’s own reality.

And it was this that made Davies memoir so good. It wasn’t mired in stereotype, but infused with huge emotion, personal anguish and a look inside the thought processes of a mixed up directionless young woman. The fact Davies didn’t make us feel sorry or pity her, that she took responsibility for her actions, was refreshing. I was pleased there was an epilogue or I would have felt quite bereft if I didn’t know where she was now.

I would like to thank Bedazzled Ink for a copy of Other Girls Like Me to read and review and to Midas PR for inviting My Bookish Blog to participate in the blogtour

About the author

Stephanie Davies is a writer who worked for many years in communications for Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) in the United States. A UK native, Stephanie moved to New York in 1991, where she taught English Composition at Long Island University in Brooklyn and led research trips to Cuba. Before moving to New York, she co-edited a grassroots LGBTQ magazine in Brighton called A Queer Tribe. Stephanie earned a French and ESL teaching degree from Aberystwyth University in Wales, and a BA in European Studies from Bath University, England. She grew up in a small rural village in Hampshire, where much of her first book, Other Girls Like Me, takes place. At the age of 22, Stephanie joined a women’s peace camp outside a US military base at Greenham Common in Newbury, a life-changing experience that is at the heart of Other Girls Like Me. Today, Stephanie divides her time between Brooklyn and the Hudson Valley, New York where she lives with her wife, Bea, and rescue dog, Emma Peel.

#Blogtour The Seven Doors by Agnes Ravatn #AgnesRavatn @OrendaBooks @annecater #RandomThingsTours

The Seven Doors by Agnes Ravatn Orenda Books September 17th 2020

Book Synopsis

University professor Nina is at a turning point. Her work seems increasingly irrelevant, her doctor husband is never home, relations with her adult daughter Ingeborg are strained, and their beautiful house is scheduled for demolition.
When Ingeborg decides to move into another house they own, things take a very dark turn. The young woman who rents it disappears, leaving behind her son, the day after Nina and Ingeborg pay her a visit.
With few clues, the police enquiry soon grinds to a halt, but Nina has an inexplicable sense of guilt. Unable to rest, she begins her own investigation, but as she pulls on the threads of the case, it seems her discoveries may have very grave consequences for her and her family.

My Review

The Seven Doors was an interesting take on the crime novel, the police very much in the background, as they appeared monetarily. It was, I think obvious intent from the author, Ravatn as she decided to concentrate on the effects it had on not only Nina and her family but also on Nina herself as she reached a crossroads in her personal and professional life.

Nina, an academic and lecturer in literature, was I felt at that stage in her career when perhaps her students and indeed her subject had moved beyond what stimulated and interested her. Ravatn made her question her role but also the validity of what she taught, and maybe it was coincidence or fate that saw her stand in for a colleague on a literary panel at the same time as the young mother that rented their house,that caused the perfect storm, the perfect reason to up end her whole life.

It was also at this point that Ravatn made it that much more interesting than your normal crime novel. Who else would have thought that a literature professor would proclaim the analytical skills required in her role made her the perfect candidate to assist in solving police crime? In some ways she was right as Nina slowly plugged away with a determination to find out what happened to Mari, the young mother, as she probed into the psychology behind doctor patient transference and the old fairy tales that highlighted the relationships between men and women.

Now if Ravatn had concentrated purely on this aspect it would have produced a very one sided novel, but we need not have worried as slowly Mari’s disappearance moved closer and closer to her own doorstep. Ravatn littered her narrative with clues that led first one way and then another, the tensions of a house move, of christmas, of winter weather that brought the family together, that created a claustrophobic and tense nervous feeling, that you knew could explode at any moment.

It wasn’t a huge explosion of high drama, but understated, subtle, words used to carry feeling and emotion, guilt and regret, answers revealed that shocked and stunned. The way forward hung in the air only for the very last sentence to cause a huge intake of breath, an abrupt but brilliant ending that made you stop and think about what you had just read.

Yet, again the perfect novel form Agnes Ravatn.

I would like to thank Orenda for a copy of The Seven Doors to read and review and to Anne Cater of Random Things Tours fro inviting My Bookish Blogspot to participate in the blogtour.

About the author

Agnes Ravatn (b. 1983) is a Norwegian author and columnist. She made her literary début with the novel Week 53 (Veke 53) in 2007. Since then she has written three critically acclaimed and award-winning essay collections: Standing still (Stillstand), 2011, Popular Reading (Folkelesnad), 2011, and
Operation self-discipline (Operasjon sjøldisiplin), 2014. In these works, Ravatn revealed a unique, witty voice and sharp eye for human fallibility.
Her second novel, The Bird Tribunal (Fugletribuanlet), was an international bestseller translated into fifteen languages, winning an English PEN Award,
shortlisting for the Dublin Literary Award, a WHSmith Fresh Talent pick and a
BBC Book at Bedtime. It was also made into a successful play, which premiered
in Oslo in 2015. Agnes lives with her family in the Norwegian countryside.

#Blogtour The Year Of The Witching by Alexis Henderson @alexhwrites @PenguinUKBooks @annecater #RandomThingsTours #TheYearOfTheWitching

The Year Of The Witching by Alexis Henderson Bantam Press July 23rd 2020

Book Synopsis

A young woman living in a rigid, puritanical society discovers dark powers within herself in this stunning, feminist fantasy debut.

In the lands of Bethel, where the Prophet’s word is law, Immanuelle Moore’s very existence is blasphemy. Her mother’s union with an outsider of a different race cast her once-proud family into disgrace, so Immanuelle does her best to worship the Father, follow Holy Protocol, and lead a life of submission, devotion, and absolute conformity, like all the other women in the settlement.

But a mishap lures her into the forbidden Darkwood surrounding Bethel, where the first prophet once chased and killed four powerful witches. Their spirits are still lurking there, and they bestow a gift on Immanuelle: the journal of her dead mother, who Immanuelle is shocked to learn once sought sanctuary in the wood.

Fascinated by the secrets in the diary, Immanuelle finds herself struggling to understand how her mother could have consorted with the witches. But when she begins to learn grim truths about the Church and its history, she realizes the true threat to Bethel is its own darkness. And she starts to understand that if Bethel is to change, it must begin with her.

My Review

I don’t usually read speculative, fantasy fiction but for some reason the Year Of The Witching had something appealing about it. I wasn’t sure if it was the topic of witches, or after reading the blurb, the parallels of men’s hold over women and the use of religious doctrines that intrigued me.

Whatever it was, it was a novel that I loved, that enthralled from the very first page and pulled me into the world of Immanuelle.

What can I say about Immanuelle! One of the bravest, strongest most determined young woman I have met in fiction. She had to live with her mothers past as a witch, the family that were stripped of their wealth, made to pay the price for her wrongdoings. Most women would keep their head down and just get on with life, but Henderson had other ideas for Immanuelle as she challenged the very core of Bethel, and the hold the Prophet and his Apostles held over its inhabitants.

The similarities to modern day cults were obvious, the use of scriptures, holy laws to ‘guide’ its people, the threat of contrition, imprisonment, punishment an axe that loomed large over their heads. Immanuelle, with the help of her mothers diary set out on a dangerous path that allowed Henderson to play with our imagination. She took us into the darkness of the Darkwood, and we felt the eerie chill of danger, saw the trio of witches that played with Immanuelle, attempted to draw her in, before a series of plagues descended on Bethel. The images that ran through my mind were just brilliant, as blood ran through the streams, the wells, the fields before darkness and finally the slaughter, the ultimate sacrifice.

Henderson gave Immanuelle an intelligence and maturity beyond her years as she battled the elements and the Prophet himself. Here was a man who believed in his own all encompassing power, that would stop at nothing to hold onto it, his abuse of young girls, his many wives that bore all the hallmarks of a cult leader at its worst. Yet Henderson pushed Immanuelle to her limits as she bargained with the Prophet, exposed his weakness and cowardice, putting herself in danger in the hopes of releasing Bethel from the grip of the plagues. Would the people of Bethel be behind her, or would they rail against her, afraid of recriminations, a blindness to the hold the Prophet had held over them? As per human nature there were those that doubted, that believed in the status quo, refused to believe in Immanuelle, bayed for her blood and you wondered if she would prevail or indeed survive.

The latter pages were full of drama, of sacrifice, you could hear the cacophony of noise fill you ear drums, the tension almost too much, and the imagery was fantastic.

It wasn’t all doom and gloom, there were hints and glimmers of hope and a feeling of optimism, of a bond that formed between Immanuelle and Ezra, son of the Prophet, the heir to the throne. Their combined strength appeared to grow despite the obstacles put in their way, and you felt that they were the future of Bethel, that something more lay in wait.

I was very pleased to read that Henderson will be writing a sequel as I cannot wait to see what the future will have in store for our wonderful Immanuelle.

I would like to thank Bantam Press for a copy of The Year Of The Witching to read and review and to Anne Cater of Random Things Tours for inviting My Bookish Blogspot to participate in the blogtour.

About the author

Alexis Henderson is a speculative fiction writer with a penchant for dark fantasy, witchcraft, and cosmic horror. She grew up in one of America’s most haunted cities, Savannah, Georgia, which instilled in her a life-long love of ghost stories. When she doesn’t have her nose buried in a book, you can find her painting or watching horror movies with her feline familiar. Currently, Alexis resides in the sun-soaked marshland of Charleston, South Carolina.

Her debut novel THE YEAR OF THE WITCHING will be published by Penguin Random House (US) and Penguin Books (UK) in summer 2020 with a sequel to come in 2021.

#BlogBlast A Girl Made Of Air by Nydia Hetherington @NydiaMadeofAir @QuercusBooks @MillsReid11

A Girl Made of Air
A Girl Made Of Air by Nydia Hetherington. Quercus September 3rd 2020

Book Synopsis

This is the story of The Greatest Funambulist Who Ever Lived…

Born into a post-war circus family, our nameless star was unwanted and forgotten, abandoned in the shadows of the big top. Until the bright light of Serendipity Wilson threw her into focus.

Now an adult, haunted by an incident in which a child was lost from the circus, our narrator, a tightrope artiste, weaves together her spellbinding tales of circus legends, earthy magic and folklore, all in the hope of finding the child… But will her story be enough to bring the pair together again?

Beautiful and intoxicating, A Girl Made of Air brings the circus to life in all of its grime and glory; Marina, Manu, Serendipity Wilson, Fausto, Big Gen and Mouse will live long in the hearts of readers. As will this story of loss and reconciliation, of storytelling and truth.

My Review

My first thought about A Girl Made Of Air was its distinctly ethereal feel, from the timely insertion of Isle Of Man folklore, to the magic of the circus and the big top. In the centre, our unnamed narrator, sometimes referred to as Mouse took our hand and guided us through her story, one of neglect, of friendship, love and regret.

She was the girl born of parents who didn’t see her, didn’t love her, forced her to fend for herself, as they became wrapped in their own love and woes. That was until she met Serendipity Wilson, the funambulist with the shocking red hair who took her into her wigwam and wrapped her in the love her parents deemed incapable of, yet it set of a chain of events that resonated throughout her life.

Hetherington didn’t make me feel sorry for her, instead she used Mouse’s voice to talk directly at us, or at someone else, someone alluded to but not revealed. I loved that it gave the novel a close personal feel, that enveloped us in her words, thoughts and feelings, a long winding stream of consciousness.

As she sat in her hotel room, wrote her story, Hetherington portrayed a young girl, who under the tutelage of Serendipity became a great tight rope worker but also learnt the hardship of human nature. She grew up in front of us, her naivety laid bare, the truth of her parentage shocking, her one supposedly good act thrown back at her, caused her untold grief that made you want to wrap her up in soft warm blankets, tell her it wasn’t all her fault.

Hetherington gave us the workings of the circus, the glamour stripped away, the hard life its performers, both human and animal led. There were the petty jealousies, favoritism, the dirt, the transit nature of their lives that prevented friendships and education, but it was home until Mouse decided it wasn’t and it was time to find what was lost.

Hetherington took her to the new world of America, of Tv’s shops, streets full of people, Mouse lost in the melee. Yet she was brave, determined as she found herself on Coney Island. Hetherington conjured images of a rundown island, of the tired acts, the poverty, but the sparks of hope and love Mouse discovered made me smile and hope that finally she had found peace. It wasn’t to be and the promise of wealth and fame led her away, almost to her downfall and you wondered if she would become lost, forget who she was and why she was there.

You wanted that happy ending to what was a truly wonderful story full of colour, of the frailities of human nature. I can only recommend that you borrow or buy and discover the wonderful story for yourself.

I would like to thank Quercus for a copy of A Girl Made Of Air to read and review and to Millie Reid for inviting My Bookish Blogspot to participate in the blog blitz .

About the author

Nydia Hetherington

Originally from Leeds, Nydia Hetherington moved to London in her twenties to embark on an acting career. Later she moved to Paris where she studied at the Jacques Lecoq theatre school before creating her own theatre company. When she returned to London, she completed a creative writing degree at Birkbeck.

#Blogtour V For Victory by Lissa Evans @LissaKEvans @DoubleDayUK @annecater #RandomThingsTours #VForVictory

V For Victory by Lissa Evans Doubleday September 1st 2020

Book Synopsis

It’s late 1944. Allied victory is on its way, but it’s ruddy well dragging its feet. Hitler’s rockets are slamming down on London with vicious regularity and it’s the coldest winter in living memory. In a large house next to Hampstead Heath, Vera Sedge is just about scraping by, with a household of lodgers to feed, and her young ward Noel (almost fifteen) to clothe and educate. When she witnesses a road accident and finds herself in court, the effects are both unexpectedly marvellous, and potentially deadly, because Vee is not actually the person she’s pretending to be, and neither is Noel.
The end of the war won’t just mean peace, but discovery, and not in the way any of them could ever expect.

My Review

I was trying to pinpoint exactly what it was that I liked so much about V for Victory but came to the conclusion that it was a veritable mix of characterisation and scene setting.

You couldn’t forget Evan’s wonderful characters, normal on the outside, but with a hidden mystery that lurked just below the surface.

Vee, or Margery Overs, head of the Green Shutters boarding house, seemed older than her approaching 40 years Evans led us to believe. You could understand why, five years in London, in the Blitz would age anyone, but there was something else that Evans kept carefully under wraps until she felt we and the story were ready. Vee was dependable, stoic, a great ‘Aunt’ to Noel her young charge. You wanted her to have some fun, some joy, to be able to leave her troubles if only for a short time. Evans didn’t let me down although it came at a price as the American GI entered her life quite by accident. It was the excuse Evans needed to give us a glimpse into her past, but also to leave it behind, to relax and seek some enjoyment.

Her young charge, Noel was a wonderful mix of youthful naivety and intelligence, traditional schooling abandoned as the boarders taught him their own specialised subjects. His various quotes and knowledge were interspersed throughout, and added to the serious intensity of his nature. You understood why as Evans revealed his childhood. I loved that he was a wonderful cook, could turn the meagre rations into delicious meals.

I think the character that most resonated was Winnie, head of air raid post 9. Respected by her colleagues, she was hardworking, conscientious, and extremely capable given the magnitude of her job. Her bravery, and skills in the face of so much destruction as V2 bombs and rockets fell from the sky was brilliantly portrayed by Evans. The fear and trepidation she must have felt was replaced by a selfless responsibility to her colleagues and those who fell victim to the falling bombs. Evans didn’t forget that she also had a personal life, a twin sister who didn’t quite ‘get’ her job who lived a life of wealth and luxury, and a husband trapped in a prisoner of war camp. Newly married, with little time to truly know each other, you could forgive her dismissiveness towards his mundane letters, product of a bored prison camp existence. It was Evans way to show us the lack of knowledge, of true news that didn’t exist in a world that lacked today’s internet and rolling 24hr news channels.

Their stories briefly cris crossed, as they meandered their individual ways through Hitler’s last hurrah. Evans gave us a sense of the changes to come, as Vee and Noel came to terms with the past, as Winnie acknowledged her future would need patience and understanding if she and her husband were to be happy, to succeed.

Perhaps Evan’s greatest triumph was her truly wonderful depiction of a London at war. The imagery was fantastic, as you felt each thud and vibration of the falling bombs, the trepidation of those close by who wondered if this time it would destroy their home. You couldn’t escape from the magnitude of Hitler’s wrath, of the fallen and crumpled buildings, of those forced to live in the ruins in the depths of winter.

The human suffering was immense, yet Evans always infused her narrative with a sense of optimism, as her characters grasped pleasure when it appeared and held on to a promise of a brighter future.

V For Victory was an utter triumph and one I shall remember for a long time to come.

I would like to thank Doubleday for a copy of V For Victory to read and review and to Anne Cater of Random Things Tours for inviting My Bookish Blogspot to participate in the blogtour.

About the author

Lissa Evans has written books for both adults and children, including
Their Finest Hour and a Half, longlisted for the Orange (now Women’s)
Prize, Small Change for Stuart, shortlisted for many awards including the
Carnegie Medal and the Costa Book Awards and Crooked Heart, longlisted for the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction.
OLD BAGGAGE was a sell-out Waterstone’s Book of the Month; THEIR
FINEST HOUR AND A HALF was adapted into a star-studded film with
Gemma Arterton and Bill Nighy