When Jay Harding is given his beloved grandmother June’s diary after her death he discovers a fascinating picture depicting one Englishwoman’s life from childhood during the dark times of wartime Britain up to the present day. But he’s already learned more distant family history. Prior to her passing his gran had told him the story of her own forebears, some of it tragic, beginning in the early optimistic years of the twentieth century, before the world was torn apart by the cataclysm of the first terrible ‘war to end all wars.’ That account gave testimony to happiness but also shocking abuse, institutional cruelty and tragedy.
Jay has witnessed the rich tapestry of his family history; has glimpsed his ancestors in handwritten pages yellowed with age, in sepia and black-and-white pictures dulled by time, in a poignant remembrance of stolen love in a silver frame; has heard it told first-hand in his grandmother’s voice, tremulous in her decline
Now in possession of the diary too, he reads on . . .
In discovering the story of his forebears, Jay finds vibrant echoes of the past resonating with his love-blessed present, inspiring him to meet the future.
Told in alternating diary extracts and narrative (a surprise about the identity of the narrator is revealed at the end), several themes run in parallel through this rich, impeccably researched novel: the repercussions of sexual abuse, the continuum of female sexual reproduction, the woman’s view of fighting wars and running the world and the changing social mores throughout the twentieth century. It is a compelling social and family history typical of so many families of the last one-hundred-and-five years.
‘Intricate and beautiful’. Gwendlyn Kallie
‘Compassionate, so very real’. Marilyn Z. Tomlins
‘A tour de force’. Anthony Nobbs
It is available on Kindle from Amazon