***FINALIST - The Kindle Book Review Best Indie Books of 2012***
“Powerful, raw and emotive” The Kindle Book Review
"This is an intriguing story, gripping from the first page to the last and full of sorrow, happiness, kindness and heartbreak" Zohar Laor, ManOfLaBook.com
“A marvellously panoramic story of how individuals dealt with the devastation of war” Damaskcat, amazon.co.uk Top 50 Reviewer
Arnhem, 1944. Captain Stanley Adam Malcolm Parker - Sammy to his friends - and his platoon have fought bravely, but it was always a losing battle. The bridge was unwinnable. After he and his men are forced into cattle trucks and transported across Germany on a three day journey without food or water, Sammy lashes out at an SS officer with brutal and devastating consequences...for him and his German opponent.
Instead of spending the rest of his war as a POW, Sammy is sent to a concentration camp.
Spared an immediate death, Sammy discovers firsthand the full horror of the final solution. Amongst the desperation and destitution of the camp, he encounters Naomi, a Jewish housewife from Dresden. Having seen her family murdered, Naomi has learned to survive by making the most unimaginable of sacrifices. She is the woman who Sammy comes to depend on to survive himself.
But when the camp is finally liberated, the couple are separated and Sammy embarks on a journey across a continent devastated by war and wracked by ongoing tensions to find out what happened to the woman he loves.
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, his mother insisted he left central London and 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 the time peace had been declared in Europe in 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. He has always believed passionately that education leads to opportunity. He has studied part time for both a Bachelor of Science and a Bachelor of Arts degree and was one of the first students to enrol with The Open University. William has six children. As they were growing up, he was working and studying in shifts as a merchant seaman and an engineer, working his way from factory shop floor to management. 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. Shortly after the hardback book's launch in the summer of 2009, his health deteriorated to the point where he could no longer live at home. He is now cared for at a home in central Milton Keynes where he is visited by his wife Sheila and family members daily.