Pegasus Falling: Cypress Branches trilogy: Volume 1 Paperback – 26 Mar 2012
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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, he 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 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. William has six children. As they were growing up, he was working and studying in shifts as a merchant seaman and an engineer. 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. After a decade-long battle against the illness, William passed away peacefully in February 2014, surrounded by his family. He was 88.
Top customer reviews
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This book has an unbelievable tale that shows the cruelty of the S.S. and the suffering of humanity during the war, but also the resilience and redemption that humanity had in the post war. The war didn't truly end when the battles were over, it still continued in many other ways.
You won't be disappointed with this book. And it will leave you wanting more.
Sammy Parker the main character has seen some sights and some maybe best not to be remembered.
The vivid character detail and settings really give you a flavour of what was happening at the time when Sammy was captured but the whole of the story shows that emotions of hate are also intertwined with love. This becomes aparrent when Sammy meets Naomi, they become to depend on one another in times of despair.
You really get the feel of the times back then, in all honesty I think this could make a brilliant film as it has all the elements of love, hate and just what people did do to try to get through the wartimes, but all told in such a believable way. The characters almost feel like they are coming to life through the pages, as it really grips you.
All I can say is "that roll on the next!".
A book that touches you emotionally, a book of emotions that was written with such passion of one whom has seen sights many might not want to remember but luckily for us he has shared this part of his past and given us this super book.
One to either download or buy as a great present for Father's Day/birthday. Well worth the money.
Captain Stanley Adam Malcom Parker, aka Sammy, of the Parachute Regiment is the hero of the story. Captured during a daring battle with the enemy, he spends the rest of the war incarcerated within a concentration camp. Sammy is a brash, outspoken man, who hands out his own personal forms of punishment. It is his inability to keep quiet and accept what is happening that lands him in more and more trouble, but it also helps him to discover Naomi - a beautiful, mysterious Jewish woman who has had to sacrifice her soul in order to keep her life. Sammy and Naomi keep each other alive through the horror of this place, they are scared and they are desperate but their love somehow makes them stronger.
When, at last, the camp is liberated Sammy and Naomi become separated. Near to death, and angry, Sammy is interviewed by high ranking officials from the Foreign Service. And so, the reader is introduced to another strong female character; Lesley Anne Carrington. A woman from a privileged background who is strong, takes no nonsense and also beautiful.
The story follows Sammy, Naomi and Lesley through the end of the war and moves from Europe to Palestine, detailing the plight of the Jewish people as they struggle to find a place that can be their home.
There have been many novels set during the war and detailing the horrors of the concentration camps, but this is the first one I have read that centres on what happened next to those prisoners who were lucky enough to survive the camps.
Pegasus Falling is an extraordinary novel, it is part love-story and part social history. William E Thomas does not shy away from the politics of the era, and my only criticism would be that at times, I felt just a little bogged down by the political detail. However, this does not take away from the strength of the novel at all.
I wish Mike Harris and acuteANGLE books lots of success with Pegasus Falling and would like to thank him very much for sending my copy. I will look forward to reading It Never Was You, the second part of the trilogy as soon as it is published.
Thomas writes eloquently, with a scrupulous attention to detail, and a fine ear for accents, language and dialect. The protagonist is all too human, in that he makes mistakes, and isn't always likeable - yet you immediately find yourself rooting for him. This is impressive stuff from a first(and sadly last)-time author; whose own experiences leap off the page, driving the narrative forward, without ever sacrificing the love story at the heart of it, or resorting to cheap sentiment.
Pegasus Falling is best enjoyed in a single weekend from start to finish (it's hard to put down once you start it), but it's easy enough to read on the go, yet sophisticated enough to please the discerning reader.
Besides all else... it's a bloody good story - seriously looking forward to reading how it ends over parts 2 and 3!
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