27th February 2017
Sealskin by Su Bristow, novel set in the Hebrides. Sealskin brilliantly re-works the North...
Walking Wounded by Anna Franklin Osborne, an emotional novel set in Blitz-ravaged London.
Born at the end of the First World War, a young girl struggles to find her own identity in her big family and is pushed into a stormy marriage through a terrible misunderstanding from which her pride refuses to let her back down. As her own personal world begins to crumble, the foundation of the world around her is shaken as Germany once again declares war and her brothers and young husband sign up with the first wave of volunteers.
Walking Wounded tells the story of those left behind in a Blitz-ravaged London, and of the web of loyalty, guilt and duty that shapes the decisions of the women awaiting the return of their men-folk as the war draws to a close.
Spanning the period from the Armistice of the First World War to the exodus of the Ten Pound Poms to Australia in the 1950s, Walking Wounded is a family saga whose internal violence is mirrored by the world stage upon which it is set.
One of my favourite genre in reading is that of Historical Fiction. I seem to be quite fascinated with the lives of all involved, the surviviors who had a story to tell and all the lost souls whose memories will live on through the wonderful story telling of those left behind. These stories get passed through the generations and sometimes a brave person picks up the baton and commits to writing about it.
Anna Franklin Osborne has just done this with her wonderful debut, Walking Wounded.
‘Inspired by the lives of her grandmother and her Great Auntie Lil and catalysed by walking on the D-Day beaches telling her children about her great-uncles who were part of that Longest Day’
Walking Wounded tells the story of the Johnson family spanning decades as they dealt with the aftermath of both WW1 and WW2 in London. As the men went to war the women were left behind trying to cope and survive in a world gone mad. These were strong women who, with the support of each other, faced down every day walking out their doors with their backs straight and their heads held high.
As the years sweep by, the story concentrates on one of these women, May. Born at the closing of the First World War, May must now face an even bigger battle in her own personal life. Married to Jimmy, May wakes up every morning not knowing what the day will hold. Jimmy has a very explosive personality and May lives in fear for her safety and that of those closest too her.
As the Second World War breaks out, the family is faced yet again with the horrors of war. The men face down the enemy with strength and courage and the next generation of the Johnson family learn to survive in a ‘Blitz-ravaged’ London.
Walking Wounded, although with fictional characters, takes you on a journey back in time. You will experience the emotions of all these women as though in the room with them.
Lydia, the lynchpin of the family, has a story that will cause a shudder and a tear or two. Her story and her strength will encourage you to look around you and be very grateful for what you have.
May’s story is one of determination. What could be perceived as her weaknesses, in my eyes, were her strengths.
Lets not forget the men in Walking Wounded. These brave souls who walked into battle unaware of whether they would ever make the return journey home. They held on dearly to the memories of loved ones, many arriving home a shadow of the man that left.
Anna Franklin Osborne has written a wonderful debut. Walking Wounded is a very emotional read, a book that has the power to bring you back to a time in our society that should never be forgotten.
Reading Walking Wounded was like picking up a diary of a survivor………Although a short read, this is a book that will stay with you for awhile. I do so hope you get an opportunity to read Walking Wounded and do let us know what you think!