Until We Meet Again by Margaret Thornton
|Until We Meet Again by Margaret Thornton|
|Category: Women's Fiction|
|Reviewer: Sue Magee|
|Summary: A heart-warming twist to the trials and tribulations of the First World War makes for a good holiday read.|
|Buy? Maybe||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 384||Date: November 2009|
|Publisher: Allison and Busby|
In the fateful summer of 1914 Tilly Moon is settled in the midst of the Moon family in Scarborough. It's an extensive clan with the usual close relationships, unusual situations and slight distances between people for no apparent reason. Tilly's an accomplished pianist and she longs to take her music studies further, but there's someone who's coming to mean more to her than her music. Her twin's best friend, Dominic Fraser is the apple of her eye and he feels the same way about her. There are war clouds on the horizon though and when Britain declares war on Germany Tommy and Dominic are quick to enlist as were many of the men in and around the Moon family.
Wanting to do her bit Tilly gives up her music studies and trains to be a nurse, throwing herself into the sometimes harrowing work as she waits to see if her twin and her fiancé will return from the battlefields of France.
When you start reading Until We Meet Again you can be forgiven if you struggle to keep track of the Moon family and all their friends and relatives. I was about a quarter of the way through the book before I had them all sorted in my own mind. If you have the same struggle, please persevere as it really is worth it. They're a warm-hearted family with a lot of goodwill and you really want everything to work out for them.
You know though that the odds are against them all coming through the Great War unscathed. Few families – even small families did. Margaret Thornton paints a vivid picture of the heartache and the sacrifices made by most families and the way that they had to continue to do their bit, no matter what. She captures the horror of war and the privations at home, but it's all delivered with a light touch.
If the people and the times are brought to life I was even more impressed by the way that Scarborough and – to a lesser extent, Bradford are painted. It's relatively minor details which make the biggest impact. There was a substantial German community in Bradford and the naturalised families were keen to fight for king and country but many who were not naturalised went home to Germany to fight for the Kaiser. School friend could well have been fighting school friend in France whilst back home many families of German descent were terrorised despite the sacrifices their children were making.
I know Scarborough well if from a later period and reading the book I could walk the streets and wander in the parks, smell the fish in the harbour and relax on the beach in the North Bay – it was easy to forget that Margaret Thornton lives on the wrong side of the Pennines!
I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to the Bookbag.
If this book appeals then you might also enjoy Remembrance Day by Leah Fleming.
You can read more book reviews or buy Until We Meet Again by Margaret Thornton at Amazon.co.uk.
You can read more book reviews or buy Until We Meet Again by Margaret Thornton at Amazon.com.
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