• XX Chromosomes

Review of Tides of Honour by Genevieve Graham

51NbJa+PwKL._SX327_BO1,204,203,200_

About Tides of Honour

A novel of love, loss, and honour amidst the horrors of war and its aftermath.

It’s 1916, and the last thing Nova Scotian soldier Danny Baker expects to find in war-torn France is the love of his life. Audrey Poulin is alone in the world, and struggling to survive the war in the French countryside. When Audrey and Danny meet and fall in love, it seems like the best version of fate.

But love is only the beginning, as Danny loses a leg in the Battle of the Somme, and returns home to Halifax with Audrey, only to discover that he’s unable to leave the war behind. Danny and Audrey struggle with their new life together, and must face not only their own internal demons, but a catastrophe that will soon rip apart everything they think they know about themselves and each other.

My Thoughts

Such an incredible story, I can’t count the number of times I became teary eyed. Not only is this a story of wartime romance, it also cites a major catastrophic event in Halifax history. I am a history buff but after reading this book I realized how little I know of Canadian history in general, soon to change with a lovely nudge from Graham.

Not a gentle read by any means. The details of the Halifax Explosion alone is affecting. The unbelievable loss and carnage, the mass destruction, the aftermath is a challenge to read, Graham paints a vivid picture of the horrific event. Compelling, heartbreaking yet you won’t be able to tear yourself away. Between WWI details, Danny’s battle memories, random flashbacks along with the Halifax Explosion you find yourself emotionally spent. Graham’s research is outstanding.

I was fond of both Danny and Audrey. I do wish their interaction and reaction to a few incidents was deeper, more authentic. A few scenarios felt far-fetched along with reactions, one in particular stands out. Also actions didn’t always equate with the personalities drawn. At times the narrative felt rushed causing a hiccup in timeline. Graham’s writing more than compensates for my trivial quibbles.

Incredible story of love, forgiveness, acceptance, resilience and family. The in-depth descriptions of Canada and the emotional scars of the characters leave the reader topsy-turvy in their own whirlwind of varying emotions. Truly an unforgettable story.

About Genevieve Graham4505583

I love to write. I really, really do. When my wonderful agent, Jacques de Spoelberch, told me he believed in my writing, then sold my books—first to Berkley (Penguin), then to Simon & Schuster Canada, it was a dream come true. Now that I am writing more and more Canadian Historical Fiction for Simon & Schuster Canada, I am thrilled to be bringing my country’s history back to life.

I have embarked on a journey I never expected to take, having my book published. I had never planned to be an author in the first place, but Fate has a way of stepping in. I’m so glad She did.

“Under the Same Sky” came from a desire – no, a need to read real historical adventure when I’d exhausted the books my favourite authors had created (and I read them all many times!). The characters come to life in my head, take me places I never imagined, teach me every day. They’re not all my best friends, but they are all amazing to me simply because they exist.

It’s kind of funny, writing books. The best stories come from somewhere you’ve never been, and yet you are the expert. You write words that come to you when you’re not thinking, and you make them into something that takes other people away. I love the magic in that.

I look forward to getting to know you.

Published April 2015 by Simon & Schuster Canada