“A gripping tale of grief, survival and the inescapability of the past.”
In an Italian prison camp in the summer of 1942 British officers captured in Africa are starving. It is in these unpromising circumstances that two men, Michael Armstrong and Harry Maynard first meet. Before the war Michael, the son of a Norfolk teacher, was expected to embark on a glittering career in the law. Harry is the son of a Hull tram conductor. To relieve the boredom of captivity Michael suggests that they write together. Initially dismissive Harry finally agrees and the two men begin to write side by side in the same notebooks.
While Michael produces an autobiographical account of his war so far, Harry writes a fairy tale about an orphan girl, Pelliger, who is raised by crows and longs to fly. Centring about her quest for identity he writes about the most powerful of human impulses of longing for love.
Many years later, Michael’s son Ian while selling his father’s house comes across Michael’s wartime notebooks. Here he discovers a man he never knew, Michael as a young soldier. At a charity lunch, Ian meets Harry’s sister Rose and her daughter Clare. After certain secrets are revealed Ian and Clare travel back to Italy to see if they can discover what happened to Harry.
Far Away paints a vivid and compelling picture of the lives of POWs in Italy and also the lives of the Italians who risked everything to save them.
Great news that Far Away was chosen as the editor’s choice by the Historical Novel Society and also long listed for HNS Indie Awards 2016 and then short listed as well, giving me an opportunity to scatter some lovely logos like confetti! Thank you very much to the HNS!
“In this excellent World War 2 tale Victoria Blake has put together a moving powerful story of friendship, survival and parents. It is beautifully written . . . Far Away portrays a well researched and compelling view into the lives of POWs in Italy but more than that it asks many questions about friends and family.
I am sure this book will appeal to fans of World War 2 fiction and particularly all those who left it too late to ask their father’s what really happened to them in World War 2.”
MANCHESTER MILITARY HISTORY SOCIETY
For full review:
“I can say no more other than that this is a beautiful book, very well written, with the three stories carefully woven together to form a matter-of-fact version of war as seen by one who took part and without any graphic incidents.
I thoroughly recommend it.”
HISTORICAL NOVEL SOCIETY
For full review:
Far Away is available as a paperback: ISBN 9781784623401
And as an e-book: eISBN: 9781784629953
And you can order it here:
Or you can saunter into your nearby Independent Bookshop and order it there and thereby please the Gods mightily.
2 thoughts on “FAR AWAY: BOOK”
You had me at “…giving me an opportunity to scatter some lovely logos like confetti!” 🙂
On a different note, I imagine Oxford was a lovely place to grow up.
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Hi Alexandra thanks for the comment. Oxford is incredibly beautiful but it’s a really strange place to grow up in. Very few children actually grow up in Oxford colleges usually I think because at the point heads of college’s are elected their children are grown up. My father married quite late for the times and so we were all children when he became Provost of Queen’s and we started living there. I was six or there abouts and the people that made the most vivid impression on me were the college porters, electricians and carpenters – they tended to be rather better with children than the academics!