The Blue Bench by Paul Marriner

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

1Margate 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 Marriner Author picturePaul 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


Categories: Adult Fiction, Blog Tour, Historical Fiction

Tags: , , ,

12 replies

  1. Hi Shelley,

    Paul here…. many thanks for taking time to read and review The Blue Bench, it’s much appreciated and I’m glad you enjoyed it. If you or your readers have any questions please don’t hesitate to ask.

    Regards, Paul


  2. Thank you so much for supporting the Blog Tour Shelley x


  3. Hi Shelley, I just wanted to ask if it’s ok for me to use an excerpt of your review of The Blue Bench in some marketing material I’m preparing. It’s a short video advert – nothing spaectacular I’m afraid, but it would be nice to show real review quotes. If you’re ok with this then shall I attribute them to Shelley at tales Before Bedtime? Regards, Paul


  4. It looks super Paul, thanks ever so much. 🙂 Shelley


  5. Hi Shelley,

    Just to let you know I’ve released the promo video for The Blue Bench (on the Book Connectors page first) and have used a quote from your review (with a credit note on the video and the post to BC). Here’s a link to the main fb page and video. Once again, many thanks for your kind words,

    Best wishes,



  6. Do you mind if I quote a couple of your posts as long as I provide credit and sources
    back to your site? My website is in the very same niche as yours and my users would
    truly benefit from some of the information you present here.

    Please let me know if this okay with you.
    Many thanks!


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