Book Review – Call of the Curlew by Elizabeth Brooks

Call of the Curlew begins on 30 December 2015. 86-year-old Virginia Wrathmell has known for years that one New Year’s Eve she will walk onto the marsh and meet her end there. She has been waiting for a sign. The sign has now appeared on her doorstep in the form of a fragile curlew’s skull. … Continue reading Book Review – Call of the Curlew by Elizabeth Brooks

One Minute Book Review – Tomaree by Debbie Robson

Tomaree begins in 1972 with Peggy Lockwood returning to Nelson Bay, a coastal town in New South Wales where she had grown up. In 1943 Peggy had married an American naval Lieutenant, Tom Lockwood, who was stationed at Nelson Bay and, as a war bride, Peggy had moved to the United States following the war. … Continue reading One Minute Book Review – Tomaree by Debbie Robson

One Minute Book Review – Gilgamesh by Joan London

Gilgamesh by Joan London begins in 1918 with Frank Clark an Australian soldier in a convalescent hospital in England meeting Ada who is there ‘to visit the soldiers’. He  invites her to come with him back to Australia, to ‘go far away to a country where there will never be another war’. Ada accepts the … Continue reading One Minute Book Review – Gilgamesh by Joan London

Book Review – One Woman’s War and Peace by Wing Commander Sharon Bown (Ret’d)

When I think of Australian women’s military service, particularly in relation to World War 1, I think of the women of Australian Army Nursing Service. 2,139 AANS nurses served overseas during World War I attending wounded Australian soldiers in all major campaigns. They worked behind the lines in field hospitals and on hospital ships that … Continue reading Book Review – One Woman’s War and Peace by Wing Commander Sharon Bown (Ret’d)

One Minute Book Review – The Forgotten Highlander by Alastair Urquhart

This week something slightly longer than a one minute review. The Forgotten Highlander. My Incredible Story of Survival During the War in the Far East is a memoir by Alistair Urquhart (1919-2016). It  touches on Urquhart's childhood and post-war life but concentrates on the period in which he was a Prisoner of War of the … Continue reading One Minute Book Review – The Forgotten Highlander by Alastair Urquhart

The Feast of the Holy Innocents

On 28th December, in the midst of Christmas and New Year celebrations, sits the Feast of the Holy Innocents, also called Childermas. This day commemorates the massacre of boys aged under two ordered by King Herod to ensure the death of the newborn King of the Jews whose existence he had been made aware of … Continue reading The Feast of the Holy Innocents

One Minute Book Review – The Darkest Hour by Barbara Erskine

Barbara Erskine is one of my favourite writers of popular time-slip fiction. The modern narrative in this novel concerns art historian, Lucy Standish, who is writing a biography of wartime artist, Evie Lucas, about whom little is known. The historical narrative begins in the summer of 1940 at the start of the Battle of Britain … Continue reading One Minute Book Review – The Darkest Hour by Barbara Erskine

4 June 1940 -Winston Churchill’s Speech to the House of Commons

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MkTw3_PmKtc Short speeches are often the most effective; however, even in lengthy speeches there are often shorter sections which capture perfectly the mood of the time and are remembered long after. Winston Churchill's 'We will fight on the beaches' speech is such a case. Most people think of it only as that half sentence passage … Continue reading 4 June 1940 -Winston Churchill’s Speech to the House of Commons

One Minute Book Review – Come in Spinner by Dymphna Cusack and Florence James

Originally published in 1951, Come in Spinner follows the lives of a group of women in Sydney over a period of eight days during the latter part of World War 2. Sydney is brought vividly to life - the ever present soldiers both local and American. The women's lives and both the pressures and excitement … Continue reading One Minute Book Review – Come in Spinner by Dymphna Cusack and Florence James

One Minute Book Review – The Garden of Evening Mists by Tan Twan Eng

This novel takes place in three time  periods. In the present, Yung Ling Teoh, a retired judge, looks back on her life during the Malayan Emergency in 1951. A former prisoner of the Japanese, she had apprenticed herself to Aritomo, once the gardener to the Emperor of Japan. She wishes to learn the art of … Continue reading One Minute Book Review – The Garden of Evening Mists by Tan Twan Eng