Christmas Awards 2011

Monday, 21 January 2008

When the Clouds Go Rolling By

When the Clouds Go rolling By/June Francis/Allison & Busby/Hardback ISBN9780749080921/ £19.99

June Francis has written another of her wonderful sagas about the Bennett and O' Toole families in Chester during and just after the First World War. Alice Bennett's relief when she hears that Sebastian has been found alive turns to apprehension and fear when he returns home. Sebastian has wounds that do not show on the outside as well as the horrendous scars that make him feel like a monster and send his children screaming from his presence when they first see him. Both he and Alice have to come to terms with the changes.

Clara O' Toole has the burden of looking after her grandmother and going to work. When she learns that she has an aunt still living, Clara starts a search that will lead her to Sebastian and his family. However, far from being able to help her she discovers that her family need help as much as she does.

Francis writes a big involved story with lots of characters and several sub plots, some of them continuing from her last book in the Chester series. As always, her stories are about families, friends, relationships and hardship, the battles that ordinary folk have to fight merely to survive. These people and their stories are real; they could live just around the corner from you. We are given an insight into their lives, allowed to witness their struggles and their emotions.

Francis is one of the leading saga writers of the day. Her books are consistently good and very readable. If you are not already one of her legion of loyal fans you should try her now. Some of her books are available in paperback and available from bookstores or the Internet. Five Red Roses. Linda Sole

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