7 October 2016

ACRBA Tour and Review: Beyond the Fight by Carol Preston

3 - 7 October 2016
is Introducing 
( Rhiza Press, 1 April 2016)
By Carol Preston
About the Book:

Percy Smith has always wondered why he didn’t identify with his father, but he never expected the revelation about his past that comes at the beginning of the First World War. In shock and pain he finds himself in a place far from home, where he meets Mabel Smart, a young woman who is also struggling to find her own identity in her family.
Both Percy and Mabel must confront the issues raised by the war; internment of German born Australians, the push for conscription, the rush of young men to fight on the battlefields of Europe, and divisions in the Australian population over enlistment.
Ultimately Percy and Mabel’s search will be about finding a way to be at peace with their families.
About the Author:
Carol lives with her husband, Neil, in Wollongong, New South Wales. After their two children, Tammy and Adam, started school, Carol returned to study and completed a PhD at Wollongong University in 1986.
She is now a Psychologist in private practice. Carol enjoys gardening, bushwalking, spending time with her family and researching her family history. Her novels are based on her Australian ancestory. Carol's books in her Turning the Tide series published by Even Before Publishing include Mary's GuardianCharlotte's AngelTangled Secrets and Truly Free.
Carol is also the author of Suzannah's Gold and Rebecca's Dream. Her first book with Rhiza Press is Next of Kin.
For more information about Carol's books and her other interests she can be contacted on her website: www.carolpreston.com.au

My Review

Beyond the Fight gets into the story quickly, and we are immediately introduced to Emma and gain an insight into her major conflicts: her frustration around the debilitating effects of her asthma, and her clashes with her overbearing mother (a problem that isn't unique to any particular period in history).

I was impressed by the research that must have gone into writing Beyond the Fight. It gave me a real sense of the issues and challenges faced by Australia as a country in the early months of the Great War. This includes many things I’d never heard before, such as the internment camps (and the dire conditions some of the German internees faced), the pro-war and anti-war protests, and the debate around conscription. It was also interesting to watch the turning of public reaction from the women not wanting their sons to go to war, to practically accusing Percy of cowardice and not being ‘Australian’ for not being gung-ho about the prospect of joining up.

All in all, this was excellent historical fiction, with fascinating situations, interesting characters, and good writing.

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