Wednesday 6 May 2020

When We Fall by Carolyn Kirby BLOG TOUR @novelcarolyn @noexitpress #RandomThingsTours #BookReview #WhenWeFall

England, 1943. Lost in fog, pilot Vee Katchatourian is forced to make an emergency landing where she meets enigmatic RAF airman Stefan Bergel, and then can't get him out of her mind.
In occupied Poland, Ewa Hartman hosts German officers in her father's guest house, while secretly gathering intelligence for the Polish resistance. Mourning her lover, Stefan, who was captured by the Soviets at the start of the war, Ewa is shocked to him on the street one day.
Haunted by a terrible choice he made in captivity, Stefan asks Vee and Ewa to help him expose one of the darkest secrets of the war. But it is not clear where everyone's loyalties lie until they are tested...
Published to coincide with the 75th anniversary of VE Day and based on WWII war atrocity the Katyn massacre, When We Fall is a moving story of three lives forever altered by one fatal choice.

When We Fall by Carolyn Kirby is published on 7 May 2020 by No Exit Press. My thanks to the publisher who sent my copy for review as part of this #RandomThingsTours Blog Tour

When asked about my choice of fiction genre, I rarely mention historical fiction. I'm not sure why as when I look back at some of my all time favourite reads they are most certainly within that genre. Maybe it's because I don't read a lot of historical fiction that I don't consider myself to be a huge fan? I'm not sure, but from now on, I'm going to ensure that I mention this genre all of the time.  Over the past few months I've found myself reading more and more historical fiction, and absolutely loving it.

When We Fall is one of those books, it took me completely by surprise. I was entranced by the characters, the plot and the beauty of the writing. I was transported to an era and to events that I knew nothing about before this. This book has both entertained me, and educated me. It's a beauty.

When We Fall is published to coincide with the 75th anniversary of VE Day and is based on World War II atrocity the Katyn Massacre and is based on the lives of three people who all played central parts in the war; Vee, Ewa and Stefan.

It is, at its heart, a love story; a tangled and entwined tale that looks at loyalties and trust as Ewa and her finance Stefan are separated at the beginning of the war. Continuing to live in occupied Poland when you consider yourself to be wholly Polish is difficult and very dangerous for Ewa as she and her father run a small guesthouse, often occupied by German officers. 
In England, Vee is a pilot for the ATA (Air Transport Auxiliary), she only been flying for a few months, yet she is entrusted to deliver warplanes all over the country.

These women are separated by thousands of miles, but are linked to Stefan. Both Vee and Ewa are enraptured by this man; for Ewa he is her link to the past; her long-term sweetheart. For Vee, Stefan is something of a mystery; most probably a very dangerous liaison, but hard to resist and thoughts of him linger in her head at all times.

When We Fall is meticulously researched and this author encapsulates the horror of war time atrocities that have been covered up for many years; often shocking and always emotional, there are things described within this story that bring tears to the eye and make the heart pound in anger.

I was especially impressed by the strength of Kirby's female characters who are often left behind in a wartime story, both Ewa and Vee display such ferocity of belief, yet question themselves at times too.

I was gripped by this book, it's a beautiful yet heart-wrenching tale that is unforgettable. The fact that is based around real-life facts makes it all the more poignant, and that ending is simply breathtaking.

A wonderful story, one to savour.  Highly recommended .

No Exit Press are hosting a virtual online launch event for When We Fall

Thursday 7 May at 8.15pm - please join the event at the following link

Carolyn Kirby's debut novel The Conviction of Cora Burns was begun on a writing course at Faber Academy and went on to win the Bluepencilagency Award for unpublished novels. Published in March 2019 by No Exit Press the UK and Dzanc Books in North America, the novel has been longlisted for the Historical Writers' Association Debut Crown Award and has been getting praise from reviewers and journalists. The Sunday Mirror called it; 'A great historical novel with bite,' while it was chosen by The Times as an historical fiction book of the month.
Before being a full-time writer, Carolyn worked in social housing and as a teacher. She has two grown-up daughters and lives with her husband in Oxfordshire. 

Twitter @novelcarolyn
Author Page on Facebook

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