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Faith Under Fire Paperback – 24 Sep 2015

5.0 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 322 pages
  • Publisher: Olympia Publishers (24 Sept. 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1848975384
  • ISBN-13: 978-1848975385
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 1.9 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,189,450 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

About the Author

Annie is the author of a poetry anthology Listen to My Heart. After studying mental health nursing at the University of Southampton, she had to give up after suffering serious illness, including a diagnosis of breast cancer. This led her to spend more time writing as a freelance journalist, and enjoying her family. This is her first novel.

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Format: Paperback
Faith Under Fire is a story about the conflict we all experience between the brightness of our daily life and the darkness of our past and our fear of death. The novel shows how faith can provide both a barrier and a conduit to this darkness. Watkinson's dramatic first novel is written with sensitivity, a lightness of touch and an unflinching approach to human emotion that make it an invigorating read.

The opening shift from hazy, darkly disturbing childhood memories to the crisp, sunny and comically melancholy present-day sets the tone for this master-work of contrasts. In this way Watkinson utilises her broad emotional palette to give structure to the interwoven stories of ten key characters. We follow the novel's strands largely through the eyes of Kate, a character whose superficially trivial early troubles are juxtaposed with the more urgent crises of her fellow villagers. As well as relating several comic and tragic vignettes, Kate's initial role is to guide us through her friend Vikki's cancer diagnosis. For the first half of the novel Watkinson uses Kate to modulate our exposure to Vikki's fear, keeping us comfortable, allowing only sharp, sudden glimpses of the horror of mortality.

As the novel progresses, we begin to feel Kate's fragility. Just as she finds personal happiness we learn more about her past and her fears. When Kate's world collapses, so does our own. The veneer of protection she offered the reader is lost but her humanity is starkly revealed. Watkinson uses this tool to tremendous effect to expose the reader to a series of cataclysmic events. The novel's shades of light and dark are intensified just as it challenges us to examine our own boundaries between right and wrong and between faith and emptiness.
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Format: Paperback
Firstly thanks to Annie for kindly sending me a copy of this in return for my honest opinion.
I began this book thinking it was just going to centre on Kate, she had given up her 'good life' in the hubbub of the city & moved to a small village into an 'idyllic' house bequeathed by her Aunt & wondered how an entire book could focus on everyday goings on.
The normal day to day village events unfolded & soon I was absorbed into varying story-lines that are all carefully intertwined by the writer. As each new character appears you quickly learn about them & get involved in unravelling their personality. Whether they are somebody you like or not they all have depth & facets of intrigue. The book gathers speed & isn't afraid to include some unsavoury issues .. all dealt with sensitively & articulately.
I found myself really caring about most of the 'villagers' & could feel the emotions both high & low. There are a couple of elements that I identify with on a personal level & it is obvious the author has a deep emotional understanding. Just as I thought I knew which way it was going there would be another turn of events until it got to the point where I couldn't put it down until I had finished it. I was then in a position where I was both grieving & smiling & most certainly missing the people & long for a sequel! It shows how life can change in an instant & how important the depths of friendships can be. For a first novel this is close to perfect & I happily award 5 stars. Thanks Annie .. more please!
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Format: Paperback
The story hooks the reader in with the prologue; from that point in the story line develops at a pace which keeps the reader involved and interested.
The essential story line is one of friendship set in a small village, with all the usual characters you would find in any village, the gossip, the vicar, his wife and family, yummy mummies, the not so well off families and the old inhabitants who feel it’s their village and that’s how things have been done for time in memorial.
The tragedies that affect two of characters are things that can happen to any of us, one day life is travelling along the road we want and planned and next it’s turned upside down and we have no control. Annie’s characters are true to life and react with love humour tears and hope. I loved the book, the characters made you care about them; I found it quite hard to put down. Annie’s style of writing is full of warmth for her characters and this is what makes them so believable. I hope there will be a sequel; you are left after the last page wanting to know what happens next.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have never written a review before but having read this book I felt compelled to write and share this with others. I loved this book from the moment I first picked it up and got so involved with the characters. I didn't want to put it down but at the same time I didn't want it to end, so I paced myself. I couldn't believe how the individual characters' lives changed so rapidly, totally true to life. Annie has a wonderful way of writing to make you totally engrossed in the characters. She should definitely do a sequel to this, you were left wanting more! I also think it would make a wonderful film!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is an excellent read from Annie Watkinson, a heartwarming, funny and tragic story that keeps the reader hooked from start to finish!! The plot centers around Kate, a spinister who moves to the village of Ashton Kirby!! You'll find yourself speed reading through each page to find out what happens next to Kate, her friends and family, will Kate get to the bottom of her families' problems? will she find true love? I'M NOT GOING TO TELL YOU!!! Just read it, you won't be disappointed!!!!
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