Today I’m delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for The Blue Bench by Paul Marriner, a story that is especially poignant in this, the 100th anniversary since the end of the First World War.
The Blue Bench by Paul Marriner
Margate 1920 The Great War is over but Britain is still to find peace and its spirit is not yet mended. Edward and William have returned from the front as changed men. Together they have survived grotesque horrors and remain haunted by memories of comrades who did not come home. The summer season in Margate is a chance for them to rebuild their lives and reconcile the past. Evelyn and Catherine are young women ready to live to live life to the full. Their independence has been hard won and, with little knowledge of the cost of their freedom, they are ready to face new challenges side by side. Can they define their own future and open their hearts to the prospect of finding love? Will the summer of 1920 be a turning point for these new friends and the country?
Historical fiction can encourage us to think about the past by going beyond fact bringing alive time and place by making us care about the character, making them relatable in unforgettable. They were, after all, ordinary people living through extreme hardship and suffering. I do feel that Paul has written a wonderful novel here. At 601 pages long it is quite a lengthy read but the characters and subject matter draw you in and you become invested in their story even though at times it could be utterly heartbreaking.
There are some difficult subject matters addressed but Paul brings a gentleness to the story with his writing. The story is set after the First World War and focuses on lives forever affected by the horrors experienced. It reminds us that even after the fighting has ceased, the pain, guilt and heartache carry on. These events can never be forgotten and his amalgamation of both fact and fiction give us a powerful read with characters that will stay with you long after you turn the final page.
You can discover more about Paul Marriner and The Blue Bench at Bluescale Publishing.
But here’s a little more about Paul Marriner…
Paul grew up in a west London suburb and now lives in Berkshire with his wife and two children. He is passionate about music, sport and, most of all, writing, on which he now concentrates full-time. Paul has written four novels and his primary literary
ambition is that you enjoy reading them while he is hard at work on the next one (but still finding
time to play drums with Redlands and Rags 2 Riches).
You can follow Paul on Twitter : @marriner_p