Thursday 22 October 2020

Soldier Boy by Cassandra Parkin BLOG TOUR @cassandrajaneuk @Legend_Times_ #SoldierBoy #BookReview

Under the shadow of trauma, Liam has been discharged from the army. As night terrors torment him and he struggles to keep his anger intact, he finds himself in his car, his daughter Alannah asleep in the back, while his wife Emma has gone AWOL. With no idea where to go for shelter, his only goal is to hold onto his daughter at all costs. But Alannah is on a journey of her own.

As the consequences of Alannah’s choices unfold, nothing will ever be the same again.

Soldier Boy is gripping story about secrets, fear, longing, lies and the power of being true to yourself, even when the price is higher than you could have imagined 

Soldier Boy by Cassandra Parkin was published on 1 October 2020 by Legend Press. My thanks to the publisher who sent my copy for review, as part of this Blog Tour 

I have been reading Cassandra Parkin's work since she published her first novel, The Beach Hut in 2015, and she's become a favourite of mine.  

Every single time I read a book by this incredibly unique author, I am taken by surprise. Her writing flows so beautifully and she centres her stories around realistic people. The plot of Soldier Boy is relevant, totally up to date and so very moving. Here is a story that will resonate with many, will make others think about their views and will, without a doubt, touch the hardest of hearts.

This is essentially a road-trip novel. A small family made up of father Liam, mum Emma and daughter Alannah. All three of them have a journey ahead of them, not just a physical journey, but an emotional and life-changing one that will re-shape their family unit, and their personalities.

The novel is beautifully and cleverly structured, as Parkin links her chapters by the end word in one, and the beginning word of another, thus making the story flow so well and capturing the imagination of the reader. 

The detail within the story is so precise and well layered. The author touches on subjects that are often shied away from. Liam's PTSD and his increasing symptoms, Emma's feelings about her marriage now that Liam is no longer in the Army, and therefore at home all day, and Alannah's revelations; to herself as she discovers who she really is, and to her family, and their reaction to this. Parkin writes with empathy and real sensitivity, however, this is not sugar-coated in any way. The reader is not prepared for the events, and may not like how this pans out, but the reality is there .... life is tough, and literature should portray that.

This is an extraordinary portrait of a family, spanning generations as the reader learns about Liam's early life with his own parents, alongside his own child's coming of age too.

Complex, but so graceful. Soldier Boy is a wonderful story, told by a gifted and talented author and one I would highly recommend, especially if you are a fan of authors such as Maggie O Farrell, Louise Beech and Carol Lovekin.

Cassandra Parkin grew up in Hull, and now lives in East Yorkshire. Her short story collection, New World Fairy Tales (Salt Publishing, 2011), won the 2011 Scott Prize for Short Stories. Her work has been published in numerous magazines and anthologies.

The Summer We All Ran Away (Legend Press, 2013) was Cassandra's debut novel and nominated for the Amazon Rising Stars 2014.

Legend Press have also published The Beach Hut (2015), Lily's House (2016) and The Winter's Child (2017. Cassandra's fifth novel is due to be published in 2018.

Visit Cassandra  on Twitter @cassandrajaneuk

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