Well, what to say about this book..
I have never read any of the author's books before (Sorry Chris !) I don't know why that is.However it made me be able to read with a completely open mind, not having any previous book to compare it with.
At first I found the brittle cut glass accents of Mary and Hilda and then Tom quite irritating and thought they would get on my nerves, but in fact, they were interweaved with such self deprecating humour that I grew to like not only the'Sound' of their voices, but the owners of the voices too.
I liked the dark humour particularly displayed in times of extreme hardship by Alistair and Simenson, the banter between them in times of inexplicable misery had as sparkle all of it's own and it is a credit to the author to be able to do this without it seeming crass.
I struggled a bit with the racism aspects, but I guess that is how it was then and would cause a stir but liked that Mary did as she wanted, defying convention.
Without wanting to giveaway too much of the story, as I'm aware other Gransnetters may not have finished it yet, I'm glad it ended as it did with an amount of uncertainty.I would like to ask Chris if he always had this ending in mind or if the story led him there ? I think it was more satisfying left as it was as life does not fit into neat little boxes where everyone lives happily ever after, I think the book would have lost something if it was such a tidy ending.
I know Chris, that you based it on real events and experiences and I think you did a good service to the memory of the people who served on Malta and the people who tried to be business as usual in England.
I really did enjoy it and think it would make a good film !
Thanks Chris for an intricate read .