Terrific novel set in the Roaring Twenties, reissued to accompany Philippa Gregory's new bestselling novel, The Other Boleyn Girl Lily Valance wants to forget the war. She's determined to enjoy the world of the 1920s, with its music, singing, laughter and pleasure. When she meets Captain Stephen Winters, a decorated hero back from the Front, she's ...
Terrific novel set in the Roaring Twenties, reissued to accompany Philippa Gregory's new bestselling novel, The Other Boleyn Girl Lily Valance wants to forget the war. She's determined to enjoy the world of the 1920s, with its music, singing, laughter and pleasure. When she meets Captain Stephen Winters, a decorated hero back from the Front, she's drawn to his wealth and status. In Lily he sees his salvation - from the past, from the nightmare, from the guilt at surviving the Flanders plains where so many were lost. But it's a dream that cannot last. Lily has no intention of leaving her singing career. The hidden tensions of the respectable facade of the Winters household come to a head. Stephen's nightmares merge ever closer with reality and the truth of what took place in the mud and darkness brings him and all who loves him to a terrible reckoning...
UNUSED, GOOD, NOT EX-LIBRARY, badly torn jacket, 507 pages. Fallen Skies is an extraordinary story of the turmoil and ugly legacy of the First World War from the bestselling author of Wideacre. Lily Valance wants to forget the war; her father has been killed in France and several friends are dead or maimed beyond recognition. She wants to enjoy the world of the 1920s, a world of music, singing, laughter and pleasure. So when she meets dashing Stephen Winters, a decorated hero back from the Front, she is drawn to his wealth and status. But Stephen is a man deeply scarred, still troubled by nightmares of the fighting on the plains of Flanders, alienated from his comfortable home, his family firm of solicitors, and close to no-one but his shell-shocked mute batman, Coventry. When he marries Lily, he wants a wife who will help him forget, who will save him from the past and ease his sense of guilt at surviving where so many were lost. Such hopes prove ill-founded, for Lily is determined to continue her career as a music-hall singer and has the courage to confront Stephen and the hypocritical facade of his mother's house. With the help of her friend Charlie, Lily challenges the codes and restrictions of the silent Portsmouth home.
While the writing in this novel is quite good, the book is terribly depressing and had me feeling physically ill each time I picked it up. As a writer, I realize reader reaction is a good thing, however, I don't believe you want the reader feeling sick to their stomach and dreading the outcome with each page turned. At least the character of Lily was one I could like and admire, but her husband Stephen who is the other main character has absolutely no redeeming qualities. If Gregory hoped to envoke sympathy because of Stephen's wartime experiences, she failed. He was miserable, selfish and spiteful before he went to war. The only time I felt relief was at the end where at least the outcome was not what I expected. For the reasons stated above, I could not recommend this book even though it is well written. Neither would I read anything else by this author. She has scared me off. I believe in portraying the world realistically, but this book was nothing but a downer.
Alibris, the Alibris logo, and Alibris.com are registered trademarks of Alibris, Inc.
Copyright in bibliographic data and cover images is held by Nielsen Book Services Limited, Baker & Taylor, Inc., or by their respective licensors, or by the publishers, or by their respective licensors. For personal use only. All rights reserved. All rights in images of books or other publications are reserved by the original copyright holders.