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An interesting, unusual, emotional novel which examines the after effects of the First World War. Four young people meet in Margate in 1920, Edward and William’s lives have been irreversibly altered by the horrors of the war, while Evelyn and Catherine are finding their wings. The book begins in 1940’s London, the scene is set so that it is abundantly clear what has happened to the main characters. I then stepped back in time to 1917 and 1920 to be introduced again, with the knowledge of what was to come still playing on my mind. I will admit that it took me a little while to settle in, Paul Marriner uses a lot of detailed description set the scene, I gradually found myself becoming fully immersed in the story as the characters entered my heart and soul. The knowledge of the future to come stayed with me, whispering, suggesting, not allowing me to settle. There is a painful certainty that travels through the novel, it doesn’t shy from uncomfortable or unsettling feelings, rather it embraces them, voices them, allows an almost visual understanding. ‘The Blue Bench’ reaches into the past, bringing thoughts and feelings within touching distance, and so gives a warning for our future.
Margate 1920, The Great War is over but Britain is still to find peace and its spirit is not yet mended. The nation grieves, one soul, one person at a time.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 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? As the body of the Unknown Warrior is returned, can the nation find a way forward?
Closing date: 21/02/2019
Publication date: 12/06/2018
Publisher: Bluescale Publishing
|Publication date:||12th June 2018|
|Genres:||Historical Fiction, Literary Fiction, Relationship Stories,|