Monday 22 April 2019

#BlogTour The Stars in the Night by Clare Rhoden

Today it's the BlogTour The Stars in the Night by Clare Rhoden. It's historical fiction with intense war scenes, and it's also the story about the strong bond of brotherhood

Enter the Giveaway below to Win a Signed copy of The Stars in the Night, a metal poppy brooch and a cross-stitch poppy card (Open Internationally). 
About the Author
Clare Rhoden writes historical fiction, sci-fi and fantasy (check her titles at Odyssey Books Clare lives in Melbourne Australia with her husband Bill, their super-intelligent poodle-cross Aeryn, a huge and charming parliament of visiting magpies, and a very demanding/addictive garden space.

Clare completed her PhD in Australian WWI literature at the University of Melbourne in 2011, and a Masters of Creative Writing in 2008, in which she investigated the history of her grandparents who emigrated for Europe to Port Adelaide in January 1914. The Stars in the Night is the result of her research.

Follow @ClareER on Twitter, on Facebook, on Instagram,
Buy The Stars in the Night

About the book
“Harry Fletcher is a confident young man, sure that he will marry Nora, no matter what their families say. He will always protect Eddie, the boy his father saved from the gutters of Port Adelaide.
Only the War to End All Wars might get in the way of Harry’s plans…

From the beaches of Semaphore to the shores of Gallipoli, the mud of Flanders to the red dust of inland South Australia, this is a story of love, brotherhood, and resilience.”

I'll admit I wasn't expecting this read to be as introspective and deep as it was. The author combines the tragedy and horror of war with the more trivial moments of these fictional characters. Eddie becomes a symbol of the type of haunting trauma the men and women emerged with after dealing with the atrocities caused by men playing strategy, as those in charge sat safely in their offices and homes.

Even at the end nothing is more prevalent in Harry's thoughts than the fate of his brother Eddie. Even decades after he last saw him, he is filled with fear and heartache at the thought Eddie might have called out for him. That he might have taken days to die by himself, feeling abandoned like he was by his abusive mother. Harry feels as if he let Eddie down, and there is nothing anyone can do or say to alleviate the guilt.

Although the fate of Eddie and how Harry suffers isn't a singular experience, the fact the focus is on the two of them makes it more tangible for the reader. We know the facts and figures of the Great War. The Lost Generation and the repercussions of the war. Aside from the ones who were recorded as dead, there are still tens of thousands who remain MIA. No narrative for the loved ones, no exact place to pay respects and no certainty of death. I would personally find that much more difficult to cope with than a definitive answer or an eyewitness account. There will always be a part of those left behind that expect their husbands, father and sons to just turn up again. It's the not knowing that destroys the soul.

I really enjoyed the fact Rhoden didn't tell the story from the perspective of a romantic relationship. Instead it's a story of love between two men who are brothers in every sense of the word except by birth. Brotherhood, camaraderie and an unbreakable bond of trust between the two of them.

It's historical fiction with intense war scenes, and it's also the story about the strong bond of brotherhood. I was impressed with the way the author described the combat scenes and the way the characters talked about war. It's not easy to capture the desperation, the feeling of helplessness and the reality of being used as bullet fodder. Simultaneously she captures the courage, the fear and the confusion of the situation. It's a sad read, but also one that speaks of moving forward in spite of the sorrow and the loss.

Buy The Stars in the Night at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Odyssey Books; pub date 26 Jan. 2019. Buy at Amazon com. Buy at Barnes and Noble. At Odyssey.

Enter the Giveaway to Win a Signed copy of The Stars in the Night, a metal poppy brooch and a cross-stitch poppy card (Open Internationally).

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*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box above. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.*

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for your wonderful and thoughtful review, Cheryl! I'm so glad you were able to find the hope amongst the sadness, but also that you recognise Eddie as a symbol of loss. Thank you!