Book by Wilcox John
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1914. British forces are desperately attempting to hold off the oncoming German invasion in France. But the German defences are formidable - the British must contend with machine guns, razor-sharp shrapnel, and constant shelling. Their only respite from attack comes as star shells fly high into the night, freezing the action and illuminating the chaos in the trenches below. Like so many other men, Jim Hickman and Bertie Murphy are plunged into this nightmare. Loyal friends, the pair have done everything together since they became neighbours as children, from falling in love with the same girl to enlisting as soon as the war began. Now, they must become closer than ever to ensure they both survive the countless, gruelling battles at the front line. As the war progresses, Jim receives honour after honour, whilst loveable Bertie struggles to deal with the mindless slaughter around him. And meanwhile, back in Birmingham, their beloved girl Polly must find a way to choose between the two men. All three are caught up in battles of the body and heart as the war to end all wars changes each of their lives. A NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: I grew up in the thirties with the Great War, as it was called, hanging over the heads of me and of my family like some retrospective thundercloud. My father was the youngest boy in a late-Victorian working-class family of fourteen - seven boys and seven girls. All of the boys went off to fight in the trenches, they were all rifle and bayonet men, not support soldiers, and, miraculously, all of them survived. The reader will understand, then, that the First World War has haunted me, not only as a boy wondering about whether he would have had the courage, like his father and distinguished uncles, to have gone over the top unhesitatingly into the German wire and machine-gun fire, but also as a latter-day novelist, writing about the wars of Empire in the late nineteenth century. I felt unable to write about the Great War earlier for various reasons, but now I am happy to have done so. - JOHN WILCOXReseña del editor:
1914. As British forces are desperately attempting to hold off the German invasion of France, Jim Hickman and Bertie Murphy are plunged into this nightmare. Loyal friends since childhood, the pair have done everything together, from falling in love with the same girl to enlisting when the war began. But while Jim receives honour after honour, Bertie struggles to deal with the mindless slaughter around him. And back in their home town of Birmingham, their beloved Polly must find a way to choose between the two men ...
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