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Novel set in Poland and England -When We Fall – Carolyn Kirby

  • Submitted: 8th May 2020

Historical intrigue of WW1 – When We Fall

Novel set in Poland and England -When We Fall – Carolyn Kirby – Published to coincide with the 75th anniversary of VE Day and based on WWII atrocity the Katyn Massacre, When We Fall is a moving story of three lives forever altered by one fatal choice….

Now that is a book worth picking up!

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Novel set in Poland and England -When We Fall - Carolyn Kirby

 Setting: Poland and England during WW2

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On the strength of The Conviction of Cora Burns., I was always going to read this book. This author captured me with her story and prose from the outset and taught me about a period of history I had little knowledge of. I had heard of the Katyn Massacre but had little understanding of what it meant and what it entailed. I was shocked and horrified at what I learnt. What an amazing thing to bring this to the fore.

We are transported to Poland during the German occupation and meet Vee and Eva/Ewa, discovering what happens to them during the war. The characters and the history is real although this is fiction, it’s representative of so many others like them. Vee is a female pilot for example and Eva is a Polih/ German woman who is involved in the resistance. It’s humbling to see how they both cope and react to the ever-changing situation. More so when they both come across the problem that is Stefan.

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I absolutely loved learning about Ewa in particular. This part of the story seemed rawer and more real and I felt closest to her. I didn’t care for Stefan but he did reveal strengths and emotions in the women you might not have seen otherwise.

The setting is of course everything and the author has immersed herself fully in the time and place, the emotions and rawness of the time. Whether she’s talking about the streets, the fear of the Nazis or the mudane tasks of everyday life, under occupation, at a time when women did not have the freedoms they have now, make this all the more compelling.

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