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Echoes of Time: Volume 5 (The Guernsey Novels) Paperback – 13 Aug 2016
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For the last three days I have been thoroughly immersed in Echoes of Time, a family saga set in Guernsey. Let me begin by saying how gripping this story is. Not only is the plot packed full of twists and turns, but the setting - and the characters - are lovingly described. There is, I think, nothing better than a novel written by an author who knows how to balance setting, speech and plot. So, what did I like? Well, the opening chapter, albeit very short, is a real 'grabber'. I'm very fond of books which open with a 'BANG!' and not with endless paragraphs of flowery prose. Well, trust me, this opens BIG, hooking the reader in... I also very much enjoyed the pacing of this novel. The chapters were surprisingly short for this genre and there's often a cliffhanger at the end of the chapters. So, although it is a family saga of sorts it is also very much a thriller and a mystery, and the style of writing reflects that. So, would I recommend this book? Yes, absolutely. And who to? Well, pretty much anybody and everybody. If you enjoy a good thriller, this is for you. If you enjoy a complex family saga, this is for you. Or, if you simply love Guernsey, this is for you. A 'Wishing Shelf' Book Review www.thewsa.co.uk
About the Author
Anne was born in Rugby to a Welsh father and an English mother. As a result she spent many summers with her Welsh grandparents in Anglesey and learnt to love the sea. Now she is based in Devon to be near her daughter and 2 small grandchildren. Her restless spirit has meant a number of moves, the longest stay being in Guernsey for nearly fourteen years after falling in love with the island and the people. She contrived to leave one son behind to ensure a valid reason for frequent returns. Her younger son is based in London - ideal for city breaks. By profession Anne was a psychotherapist who long had a desire to write and Dangerous Waters,her first novel,was published in 2012. It was awarded Silver(Adult Fiction) in TheWishingShelfAwards 2012. Her second, Finding Mother, was runner-up in Family Sagas in the 2013 SpaSpa Awards. The third in The Guernsey Novels series, Guernsey Retreat, was published in August 2014 and the fourth, The Family Divided, in June 2015. Echoes of Time, the fifth, is out on 15th August 2016. To find out more about Anne visit her website - www.anneallen.co.uk
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Top Customer Reviews
Now, those of you who've known me a while will know how much I enjoy that kind of storytelling: I'm also a bit of a connoisseur, and this one was exceptionally well done. For this type of book to work, both storylines need to be engaging, of equal strength - otherwise you get that wrench when you move from one story to the other. There were no wrenches here - both stories were wonderful, very well integrated and with similar themes, and I was every bit as hooked by Olive's wartime life as I was by Natalie in the present day. I enjoyed the supernatural elements - they're entirely natural and believable, and nothing too uncomfortable (ok, I did get a bit edgy reading it in the early hours - but once I'd checked nothing had happened to my downstairs rooms I was fine...!).
The research behind Olive's story is evident as the story comes to life, but it wears it lightly - this book really transports you to the Nazi occupation of Guernsey and the difficult lives people led. I learned a fair bit too - I didn't know about the slave workers or the railway, and the ostracisation of the collaborating "jerrybags" was an aspect I'd never thought about. The characters are wonderful, and very emotionally engaging - Olive's life and experiences were particularly moving, and brought a tear to my eye on several occasions.Read more ›
Solving past mysteries is always evident in this series of books, and in this one we learn about the Occupation of the Channel Islands by the Germans during the Second World War, and its effect on the islanders; how some families are still learning about their past.
If this is your first dip into the Guernsey Series, I hope you’ll be tempted to look at the earlier novels. Throughout the series characters reappear, almost as cameo appearances, and it’s a delight to see how they’ve developed over the passing years.
I quite like the idea of being one of those characters, part of the ensemble cast, invited to a barbecue, a walk on the beach…
The warmth of Guernsey shines through the pages, making this a perfect piece of escapism –whenever you read it.
Beauregard Cottage sits on the site of a farmhouse which burnt down many years ago. There is also something of a mystery surrounding the owner, Olive Falla, who disappeared around the time of the fire. Natalie Ogier, quitting her highly paid job in London, has returned home to the island to escape her abusive partner Liam and begin a new life. Falling in love with the cottage she buys it and discovers the neighbouring property, The Barn, is owned by the farmer’s grandson Stuart Cross, a teacher. A friendship blossoms but anything beyond that seems impossible. Like Natalie, Stuart is also escaping from a painful past so new relationships aren’t on his agenda either. When Natalie begins to hear voices and has disturbing dreams she believes are tied to Olive, she enlists Stuart’s help. Together, with his mother Tabitha (Tabby) who grew up on the farm, they begin to piece together Olive’s life during the war. They hope to establish what happened to her and why it appears her unhappy spirit is now haunting the cottage.
Echoes of Time is a beautifully written story woven between the past and present. Life on Guernsey during the Nazi occupation is dealt with in great detail and shows exactly how much hardship the islanders suffered. A great read and thoroughly deserving of five stars.
As always the author draws you so completely into the story that the here and now quite simply disappears and you are transported back in time to the Guernsey occupation during the Second World War, a time when fear and suspicion was rife. Olive's sad and sorry tale is told with such sensitivity that there were times when I was moved to shed a few tears.
I loved the modern day element and as always the author intersperses the story with believable characters. I really got to like and admire both Natalie and Stuart and felt an emotional attachment to them from the beginning. I also had real cottage envy and wanted to move into "Beauregard" with Natalie, and sip wine with Stuart whilst looking through the sheer glass window of the Old Barn.
The time- slip element of the story is done quite seamlessly and the obvious attention to historical detail emphasises just how much research goes into making each of the stories feel truly authentic. There is no doubt that this author has found a real gem of a series in her Guernsey stories. Each one is as precious as the next and I am sure that the story, should the author be willing , can only continue to go from strength to strength.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Natalie Ogier, fleeing a violent boyfriend, abandons her fast-paced London life as a hedge fund manager, to return to the island of her birth, Guernsey. Read morePublished 7 days ago by TripFiction
I enjoyed Anne's book 5 based in Guernsey. It kept you very interested throughout. Cannot wait for the next book.Published 2 months ago by Pauline
A quick word on the cover. I loved both the evocative image and the title
And I love books that give a sense of place; of an era. Read more
I fell in love with books about the Guernsey Isles when I read The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Annie Barrows. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Noelle
I really had no idea what to expect from the book description, but this book was a captivating and breath-taking read. It's poignant, oh, so poignant. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Melissa Pritchard
I ve read all 5 of the Guernsey novels now and they just get better and better. I loved this book the dual story line and ghost story line is really well written and easy to... Read morePublished 3 months ago by emma badcock
This is a "no spoilers" review of a free copy of the book
This book makes for an easy but exciting, totally pleasant read. Read more
This is the fifth novel in Anne Allen's Guernsey series and I think possibly the best so far. These are stand alone novels set in the eponymous Channel Island. Read morePublished 4 months ago by nofixedabode
I've read a couple of the Guernsey Novels prior to this and while they all provide excellent reading with strong characters, fantastic plots along with plenty of twists and turns... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Kevin Cooper