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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You won't be disappointed, 19 July 2014
By 
Craig Statham "Craig" (Scotland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Blood on the Thistle - The Heartbreaking Story of the Remarkable Cranston Family and Their Remarkable Sacrifice (Hardcover)
First off, let me say that I did some research for this book. However, this review is completely objective. If I hadn't liked the book I simply wouldn't have written a review.

This true story is a heartbreaking one, with four sons from a single family perishing during the First World War. The focus is on the lives of all the family members and the impact it had on the surviving members, especially the mother. The story is woven around a fictional narrative, much like Thomas Keneally's Schindler's Ark. And it is done well - the characters are engaging, and the story flows incredibly well. I read it on the bus to and from work each day and a few times nearly missed my stop. Much of the time the Scots dialect that the family would have spoken is used, but where it may be confusing to non-Scottish readers it is well footnoted.

What interested me most when I picked up this book was the research. I'm a researcher by trade and an expert (if I may say so myself) in East Lothian history (I worked for eight years as the Local History Officer in the county). To say I was pleasantly surprised is an understatement. Stuart and Bob have researched the history of the town of Haddington, where the family hailed from, incredibly well. There were so many little facts thrown in that the level of research they did must have been immense. And if they've researched the town to such a depth, it goes without saying that they've researched every aspect of the book. The resources used back up this assertion, with archives from across the world contributing to the story. But Stuart did not simply rely on the dry words of a history book or a military diary, he got out into the real world and contacted the descendants of the family - from Australia, Scotland, Canada, and probably even further afield. And as I know from experience, this is where the real gems lie. This is where Stuart found letters sent home from the front, the family violin, the bloody kilt, and the snippets of stories that, when added together, form a story that could bring a tear to a glass eye.

So I would recommend this book to anyone interested in the First World War, but also to anyone interested in a well told story (lovers of fiction and non-fiction alike will enjoy it). Equally, if you hail from East Lothian I can't recommend this book highly enough.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars World War One , Family ,sacrifices, God, Country....., 28 July 2014
Having got a hardback copy and signed by both author's.
The book was very sad at times, uplifting and thoroughly thought provoking.
It shows the human cost of World War One and all the sacrifices the Cranston family especially endured.
Although other families suffered mightily too.
Values of and to the family and to God, country each other.
Today these values mean less.
I recommend this book.
Well written with good research.
I Hume.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tragic WW1 family, 3 Aug 2014
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This review is from: Blood on the Thistle - The Heartbreaking Story of the Remarkable Cranston Family and Their Remarkable Sacrifice (Hardcover)
I have bought literally hundreds of WW1 books and this is in my top 10. The fact Haddington where the family came from is only 10 miles from me really brought events home to me.

I even checked out the inscription on Abbey bridge and it's clear as a bell still after 106 yrs.

This has been a labour of love for the author but excellent book
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 27 Aug 2014
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This review is from: Blood on the Thistle - The Heartbreaking Story of the Remarkable Cranston Family and Their Remarkable Sacrifice (Hardcover)
A great read and a heartbreaking story which gives great insight into the tragedies of WW1
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars true story, 7 July 2014
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This review is from: Blood on the Thistle - The Heartbreaking Story of the Remarkable Cranston Family and Their Remarkable Sacrifice (Hardcover)
what a beautiful book a true story of a brave mother during the war well worth a read
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 16 Aug 2014
By 
John H. Williams (Cardiff Wales) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Blood on the Thistle - The Heartbreaking Story of the Remarkable Cranston Family and Their Remarkable Sacrifice (Hardcover)
Brilliant
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