6 March 2018

A Discovering Diamonds review of Tug of War by Julia Sutherland


Amazon UK £2.99
AMAZON US $4.06 $9.99
AMAZON CA $12.75

Family Drama / Romance
1944 
Normandy 

"May 1944, Corporal Andrew Thomas is granted leave to spend a few days with his family and the girl he would marry. But the mood is sombre as the threat of war looms. A few short weeks later, wrenched from his loved ones and cast onto the beaches of Normandy, Andrew witnesses horrors that leave an indelible stain on his young heart. With the offensive gathering pace, Andrew’s Sherman Tank develops a mechanical fault. He and his crew are ordered to take shelter in an old chateau. There, he meets Anneke, a young woman who offers respite from the relentless carnage of the battlefield. But the tug of war soon drags him away again. 
When the killing is over, Andrew must seek out his love and pick up the pieces of a once simple life."

Based on real-life, this novel tells the story of the challenges faced by a young British man commanding a tank during the Normandy landings in 1944. The protagonist goes on leave to spend a few days with his family and the girl he wishes to marry. Then the story moves to the landings and his first experience of combat.

He spends time in an old ch√Ęteau and meets a young woman with whom he has a relationship before returning to war. After the fighting he goes back to the chateau, finds that the young woman has gone and he is faced with a decision: does he return home to his old love or follow his new?


The period detail is good, although the opening part of the book perhaps dwells too much on life in wartime Britain, but the  author's descriptions, particularly of combat, are vivid and believable.

The characters are fleshed out well, although again there is perhaps too much ‘explanation’ as the story proceeds, and there were a couple of minor anachronismsSome of the dialogue occasionally seemed slightly stilted, but this is a consequence of writing in the first person with a need to explain things through conversations, on the other hand, the author is very good at painting a picture of time and place. The effect of prolonged combat on soldiers is well observed, giving an overall interesting story, especially of how people cope with conflict and the demands of war, both at home and on the battlefield.

It is a very human story, solidly told and well worth a read.


© Haydn Corper

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1 comment:

  1. Sounds like a lovely story. One can imagine these ‘tug of love’ type incidents happened quite a lot. Am intrigued to know whether or not he follows the French girl and dies he follow his heart,

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