Today I’m pleased to be taking part in the blog tour for The Walls We Build. My review is written with thanks to Rachel Gilbey at Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me on the tour and for my copy of the book via the publisher.
Set against the stunning backdrop of Chartwell, Winston Churchill’s country home, and reverberating through three generations comes a tragic story of misguided honour, thwarted love and redemption.
One Hidden Life
Growing up around Churchill’s estate, Frank, Florence and Hilda are inseparable, but as WW2 casts its menacing shadow their friendships become more complex and strained. Following Frank’s death in 2002, Florence writes to his grandson, Richard, hinting at a dark past.
On investigation, disturbing secrets come to light that have not only haunted his grandfather’s life but will now impact on Richard’s too. When a pivotal encounter between Frank and Churchill is revealed and a mystery relative in a psychiatric hospital discovered, just how much more does Florence dare disclose, and is Richard ready to hear?
For readers who enjoy the work of Kate Morton, Rachel Hore, Lucinda Riley, Katherine Webb and Juliet West.
The Walls We Build is slightly outside my usual genre but I really enjoyed becoming involved in the characters’ lives and it is a brilliant novel to lose yourself in in these times of uncertainty. There are a lot of characters, and at the beginning, I did take some time to work out the family tree and the relationships within the novel, but despite this, every character has great depth and I loved seeing them grow as time went on.
The dual timeline worked really well and I found it interesting to see how the characters and events in the 21st century were influenced by what had happened in the past.
Throughout The Walls We Build, the character of Winston Churchill is prominent and I loved the way Hayes brought him to life in this novel. He is obviously a well known figure and a lot has been written about him, but I enjoyed seeing a more human side to him. Hayes must have undertaken a huge amount of research to pull this off and I admire the level of dedication!
This novel addresses a number of interesting themes that are as relevant now as they were to the characters in the past. Hayes handles them very sensitively and I appreciated the extra layer these issues gave to the story.
The whole novel is poignant, but I felt this particularly strongly at the end. It will stay with me for a while to come.
The Walls We Build is available from Amazon.
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