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Publisher's Summary

Nowhere in England avoids the loss of young men during the First World War and the village of Shallowford is no exception. Many never return and the lives of those who do are changed forever.
Paul Craddock must rebuild the estate and the bonds broken between those who belong there. It is a time of huge social change and there are peacetime challenges as hard to surmount as those of war. And before they are met, Germany once again threatens the stability of Europe.
©2013 R.F. Delderfield (P)2013 Oakhill Publishing
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Critic Reviews

"Mr Delderfield's manner is easy, modest, heartwarming." (Evening Standard)
“His narratives belong in a tradition that goes back to John Galsworthy and Arnold Bennett” (Life Magazine)
“Fantasy literature has never shied away from grandeur, but the sheer-mind-boggling scope of this epic has sent other fantasy writers away shaking their heads... Its ambition: to construct the Twelve Caesars of fantasy fiction, with characters so venomous they could eat the Borgias.” (Guardian)
"His narratives belong in a tradition that goes back to John Galsworthy and Arnold Bennett." (Life magazine)
"Fantasy literature has never shied away from grandeur, but the sheer mind-boggling scope of this epic has sent other fantasy writers away shaking their heads.... Its ambition: to construct the 12 Caesars of fantasy fiction, with characters so venomous they could eat the Borgias." (Guardian)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By David on 10-05-17

The best of the trilogy

I listened to this book straight after the first and with some trepidation in case it was not as good but I needn't have worried. Delderfield had woven such an intricate picture of the valley and it's inhabitants that starting this new book was like slipping back in to a much loved home.
The story focuses slightly less on the Craddock family than it did before and more on their tenants, friends and neighbours than before before, during and after the war years. The Craddock's are the ribbon that flows through it all and keeps everything anchored together.
In a country where the losses of World War One were terribly apparent to all communities they are magnified in the rural villages where the men leaving for war almost brings the agricultural businesses to a standstill and what has been clawed back from derelict farms and moor during the last book is in danger of being lost.
The account of the war years are personal, raw and heartbreaking. The characters by now feel like friends and are so well written that you cannot help but feel a deep fondness and on occasion love for them all.
Each character evolves and changes, Delderfield is brilliant at expressing the passage of time and adjusting to the era without it looking forced or jerky.
Absolutely loved this book and highly recommend.

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By A J SALTER on 08-24-17

Authentic

There is a difference between authors writing about times they have lived through and those treating it as a historical exercise. The pieces on WW1 and the agricultural depression are excellent. The loss of so many lovable characters is trying but an accurate reflection of the blood letting. Would have loved more on the 1920s and feel somewhat cheated. Thankfully there is humour and you are left feeling optimistic for the remaining characters as they prepare for WW2.

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