Hello, Sunshines, I have the huge pleasure to be sharing my review of; The Village by Philip Duke. This review was supposed to be posted alongside my stop on the blog tour, but alas I’m late. But better late than never, right? So apologise to both Kelly and Meggie at Love Books Tours for the delay and to Philip. So let me finally let you read my thoughts.
The Village by Philip Duke
Genre: War Fiction
Publisher: Top Hat Books
Format: ebook, paperback
A Cretan village confronts the Nazi juggernaut sweeping across Europe.
A village matriarch tries to hold her family together…
Her grieving son finds a new life in the Cretan Resistance…
A naive English soldier unwillingly finds the warrior in himself…
And a fanatical German paratrooper is forced to question everything he thought he believed in. The lives of four ordinary people are irrevocably entwined and their destinies changed forever as each of them confronts the horrors of war and its echoes down the decades.
Buy Link – Amazon
I have to be honest and say that before reading this I didn’t realise just how much Crete was impacted by the war, obviously, I knew of Greece being invaded, thanks in part to watching Captain Corelli’s Mandolin (which is highly recommended if you like a simple war love story). But as for Crete, well that is partly my ignorance and the fact that my Geography is awful and I barely know where places are especially smaller Islands, but after reading The Village I will definitely be reading more about it.
The story follows four completely different people as they face the battle of Crete; a young ever so slightly naive British soldier, who was inadvertently shoved into the midst of the action without knowing what to do, thanks to being conscripted. Then we have the view from the villagers, a matriarch trying to keep her family together and safe and a young partisan doing all he can with the other resisters to defend his people. And finally, we have a German paratrooper who only joined because of the love of his country, he doesn’t like what he is being made to do. It’s interesting to see the same war depicted thought all the different fractions, and that is the part of the overall story I liked best seeing how the war affected all people.
The depictions of Crete and the battle which happened there are so vivid, it’s clear that the author has done extensive research which breathes life into the characters and what they must face, yet the story is a very simple one of courage, suffering and revenge all brought together in a passionately written book which grasped hold of the reader and refuses to let them go.
I did think that the start was a little slow for my liking, and there were parts which I did think dragged on a little too much, but once I got a few chapters in everything seemed to fall into place and the story found it’s true pacing which was a lot faster and held my attention far better than the start. But, that was just my personal opinion that is only because I prefer faster-paced stories, especially historical fiction.
I have always liked it when a true life event is used in a fictional story, even if I didn’t realise at first that it was based on true events I love that I can finish the book and become intrigued enough to start reading more on the subject which is what happened here. I didn’t know much – and by much I mean nothing, of the battle of Crete but after reading The Village I want to know more, which to me shouts out at just what a fine author Philip Duke is.
Overall a very enjoyable, gritty novel which will keep you hooked.
About the Author
Philip Duke is a retired professor of anthropology. He and his wife lived on the island of Crete, Greece for five years before returning to the United States in 2015. His first novel, A Terrible Unrest, is currently being turned into a screenplay. Philip now lives in Durango, Colorado, USA.