LoveReading Expert Review of When the Sky Fell Apart
Prepare for your heart to break… this is a powerful, evocative tale of life during the Nazi occupation of Jersey in the 1940’s. The first page made me flinch, yet I couldn't, didn't want to stop reading. Ten year old Claudine, herbalist Edith, fisherman Maurice, and Dr Carter see very different sides of the occupation, using such different characters stops it from being a sweeping historical tale, instead it’s personal, intimate, penetrating. Caroline Lea’s pen gives you a massive shove as you read, and doesn't apologise for it as your stomach goes into free fall. ‘When the Sky Fell Apart’ is at times a truly uncomfortable read, yet it deserves to be read, not only for the blast of reality from the past, but also as a warning for the future. ~ Liz Robinson
March 2017 Debut of the Month.
When the Sky Fell Apart Synopsis
Jersey, June 1940.
It starts with the burning man on the beach just after the bombs land, obliterating the last shred of hope that Hitler will avert his attention from the Channel Islands. Within weeks, 12,000 German troops land on the Jersey beaches, heralding a new era of occupation.
For ten-year-old Claudine, it means a re-education under German rule, and as she befriends one of the soldiers, she inadvertently opens the gateway to a more sinister influence in her home with devastating consequences.
For Maurice, a local fisherman, it means protecting his sick wife at all costs—even if it endangers his own life.
Edith, the island’s unofficial homeopath, is a Jerriais through to her bones. But even she can’t save everyone, no matter how hard she tries.
And as for English doctor Tim Carter—on the arrival of the brutal German Commandant, he becomes the subject of a terrifying regime that causes the locals to brand him a traitor, unaware of the torment he suffers in an effort to save them.
When the Sky Fell Apart is a heartbreaking chorus of the resilience of the human spirit. It introduces an exciting new voice in literary fiction.
The Crystal Crypt, the latest in Fiona Veitch Smith's Poppy Denby Investigates series is a "wonderfully evocative and vivacious 1920’s murder mystery [that] features a female sleuth and reporter investigating a suspicious death" Liz Robinson, Expert Reviewer
To celebrate the release of The Crystal Crypt, we're working with Lion Hudson to give away the whole of the Poppy Denby Investigates series so far.
This draw is open only for UK residents currently in the UK and is free to enter, multiple entries from the same email address will only be counted once. The draw closes on 12th December 2021. Please ensure that the details you use to enter the competition will be correct at the time the competition ends. The winners will be notified as soon as possible.
What To Read After When the Sky Fell Apart
When the Sky Fell Apart Reader Reviews
In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title. You can click here to read the full reviews.
- Sarah Musk - 'One of the best books I have read about life under an occupying army. The Channel Islands were the closest we came to being occupied - what a lucky escape we had!'
- Elaine Lowe - 'The hardship and suffering endured by war, equally matched by acts of kindness, friendship and love...Hauntingly descriptive and thought provoking. I enjoyed reading this book.'
- Cheryl Kinney - 'An absorbing Read. I really enjoyed this book.'
- Jane Pepler - 'A compelling story about Jersey under occupation by Germany in the Second World War.'
- Edel Waugh - 'This is a thought provoking book, trying to imagine how people actually did cope when something like that happened made me feel slightly sick but the resilience these characters showed was inspiring.'
- Linde Merrick - 'What an absorbing and fascinating read! Caroline Lea’s novel about the arrival of the invading German troops on the rustic Channel Island of Jersey and the effect of their subsequent occupation on some of its inhabitants is finely crafted.'
- Judith Waring - 'I loved this novel, so raw and totally captivating right from the first sentence...a totally gripping novel which is a complete page turner.'
- Doreen McKeown - 'I found it an excellent read and a truly memorable one.'
- Melanie Chadwick - 'I really cared what happened to these characters, they were very well drawn and I loved the interweaving of their stories.'
- Les Wood - 'well written and highly descriptive.'
- Karen McIntosh - 'I enjoyed this historical tale of life in the Channel Islands during the Nazi Occupation.'
- Lisa Redmond - 'At times heart breaking at times uplifting this is a beautifully written book with vivid characters and a tense and nerve wracking atmosphere. The descriptions are poetic and the plotting superb. This is a perfect choice for book clubs everywhere.'
- Suzanne Millar - 'Sensitively written with great prose and descriptions.'
- Keith Currie - 'This is an excellent novel which focuses on the human cost of war in an unfamiliar setting. It grips from the beginning and explores the effects of war on a fascinating range of sympathetic characters.'
- Ruth Paterson - 'This novel is a moving and highly descriptive portrait of life for a few people living on Jersey at the time of the German Occupation.'
- Phylippa Smithson - 'Undemanding yet engaging story of life under German occupation in WW2 Jersey.'
- Kathryn Whitfield - 'Beautifully written, heartbreaking story about love, friendship and survival.'
- Lynne Rapson - 'A moving story set in Jersey during the German occupation, showing how ordinary lives are affected by historical events.'