Welcome to my first ever virtual book tour! Today I am hosting a book review for a superb new book (which had me glued to it’s pages) called Walking Wounded by Anna Frankin Osborne.
Walking Wounded follows the story of a family affected by both the Great War and then WWII. Love, losses, births and marriages all affected by the harsh realities of war. The book soon sweeps up the reader into the story and takes them on a dramatic and emotional journey.
Set in bombarded London, the Johnson family work together, live together and support each other through the harsh realities of war year after year. Each character is affected in their own way and becomes another member of the walking wounded. An easy read, contained in a very short book of just 188 pages, this book is makes for an ideal bedtime read, or as a companion on long flights or train rides.
The book focuses on the strong relationships between the women left behind at home while their husbands, lovers and brothers go off to war. We are taken on a journey through hard to discuss subjects, including domestic abuse and baby loss. Something that many readers may find upsetting, yet the author handles the topics with respect and tenderness. Each topic very relevant to the full story and decade in time. We hear brief snippets from the men and what their experiences of the wars are and where abouts in the world they find themselves stationed, but the real focus on the story really is through the eyes of the women, who worked tirelessly keeping their country running, while their men were away fighting for it.
I thoroughly enjoyed the book and found it very easy to read indeed. I feel that the book is an enjoyable book for any older member of the family to enjoy. The language is simple and the story is easy to follow, without wondering who’s who or periods of time chopping and changing. Teenagers will find this a simple read to enjoy after school (especially A-Level History students), Adults who remember stories from their parents and grandparents of the wars and those who remember the war from first hand experiences will all enjoy the nostalgia and relate to the emotional stories throughout the book, what ever their walk of life.
Walking Wounded is a superb book from a brand new author, it kept me yearning for more. It was such a powerful story from beginning to end, and the realism from the pages made myself as a reader, truly think about the past and what our country, men and women all went through… together. An excellent book that I shall certainly find myself reading again.
Much later, they rolled away from one another, but fell asleep still touching, neither aware that each slept with a gentle smile on their face. Many hours later, Florence awoke with a shock. Her first thought was that Lydia must be ill, strange cries calling to her maternal instinct and forcing her from blissful sleep, and she sat up disorientated, realising with her waking breath that the cries came from William, her husband. Shakily, she reached out and touched him, seeing that he was still asleep but dreaming, and watched helplessly as he recoiled away from her trembling hand and howled like a lost soul. The next morning, Florence waited until everyone had left the house, then turned to William, her hands on her hips and a challenge in her eyes that he wanted to avoid, staring silently down at the table and hoping against hope that she would just drop it, leave him alone. ‘William,’ she tried, tentatively, ‘William please tell me what last night was about. Do you remember what you were dreaming of?’ William looked up at her reluctantly, and saw reflected in her loving face what he had most feared to see. Pity. Furiously he stood, shook his head as he if were trying to shake away the violence of his thoughts, and without a word, slammed out of the house. Shocked by his reaction, Florence watched him walk away, head bent and shoulders hunched, then felt her knees give way and sank down at the table, finally giving way to the burning tears she had been holding back and weeping at her impotence, stricken to the heart. The nightmares continued, relentlessly. Florence could see no pattern to them, sometimes they were almost as he first drifted off to sleep, sometimes after a few hours, but the effect was always the same. First the thrashing around, then the crying out, then the shocked, sweat-drenched face of the man she loved, staring glassily into the darkness and unable, or unwilling, she thought bitterly, to tell her what he had seen.
Anna Franklin Osborne is a first time author, and should be proud of her first published work being Walking Wounded. The mum of 2 lives in the New Forest with her husband, kids and menagerie of animals.
Where did Walking Wounded start?
Anna says: “My husband…kept encouraging me to write a novel, which I really felt I did NOT have in me. Later that summer, however, we were walking along a D-Day beach for no other grander reason than our ferry home from France being late, and I began telling our kids about my three great-uncles who were part of that day, and my grandmother who sewed parachutes for the paratroopers jumping over Normandy. Neil looked at me and smiled and said, ‘you do actually have a story there, you know….’
Walking Wounded was written over a period of a year, on a tiny tablet which I bought specifically because it fitted into my handbag – as I said, ‘if it’s not with me at all times, this just won’t happen.’ I wrote every day in 10 minute bursts while I sat in the school car-park waiting for my daughter to emerge from school, I wrote parked outside ballet lessons and maths lessons, I wrote early in the mornings while everyone was asleep.”
Walking Wounded ready for publication…
“I spent the night before Publication Day in an agony of excitement and expectation, posting on FB and bouncing around like an overgrown poodle.
Publication Day itself was a damp squib! I was at work all day and was really busy so I couldn’t just sit staring at the computer all day to see if I had any orders – but I did keep peeking when I could. Sadly, Amazon listed it wrongly and it was the first day that I made no personal sales at all from my own little stash, so I slunk back home with my tail between my legs! I have a good friend who used to lead my meditation class who told us ‘if you have no expectations, you cannot be disappointed’ and suddenly, this made complete sense!
Will I be better next time? I have no idea! I still feel that this is very unchartered territory for me and I left the shores of my comfort zone behind long ago… I suppose I’ll just keep sailing onwards and hope I don’t hit a rock!” says Anna Franklin Osborne
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*A copy of this book was provided to me in exchange for an honest review.
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