Review:
Original posting here :  https://brizzlelassbooks.wordpress.com/2016/07/26/blog-tour-review-weve-come-to-take-you-home-by-susan-gandar/

We’ve Come To Take You Home tells us the story of two girls Jessica and Samantha separated by 100 years. In this dual timeline novel Jessica’s story is being told during war-torn Britain and Sam’s story is being told right now.

Sam’s timeline is quite hard to follow, her story follows her whilst she struggles with the difficulty of her Father having an accident which puts him in ICU. Whilst this is happening she also has time-slips where she finds herself seeing through other people’s eyes, of a time long before now. The writing is quite awkward and the time-slips written so suddenly that it is very confusing to read. I spent much of the time I was reading Sam’s timeline completely confused and trying to work out what was happening and how it related to the story.

Jessica’s timeline on the other hand was a pleasure to read, she had such an interesting and moving story, it would have worked fantastically as a standalone novel without Sam’s story being there at all. It was Jessica’s story which kept me going and encouraged me to keep reading. I wanted to find out what happened in her story and how. I wished there was more to her story and was disappointed that there wasn’t more.

At the end of the book there is an attempt to resolve the questions and bring the two timelines together and show how the time-slips Sam experiences are relevant but I felt it was rushed and confusing. I didn’t feel that it completely made sense nor did I feel that it resolved the story.

My feelings for this book were very split and quite confused and at times it felt as though I was reading two different books. The story about Jessica saves this book, it felt passionate, full of love, and was an emotionally charged tragedy.

Thank you very much to Susan Gandar for a copy of the novel to review this book honestly for the blog tour.

 

Broc's Bookcase

My ThoughtsI’m not a massive fan of historical fiction and I very rarely read anything that is set before I was born. However this book really intrigued me and I loved the idea of this story taking place with these two girls who happen to be living in different times. And I am very happy to say that I was not disappointed in the slightest and I am so glad I took a chance on this book.

I really liked both Sam and Jessica in this book, both of their stories were emotional and engaging in their own ways and I found myself very easily connecting with both girls and getting to know more about them as the story progressed. If I had to choose I would probably say that Jessica’s story was my favourite, which was surprising for me as her part of the book was the historical, but I found her and her story especially interesting compared to Sam’s which I felt sometimes took a bit of a back seat.

The story flows well, for the most part, and I liked the format of the way it was written with alternating shorter chapters between the two times. I found myself constantly guessing to try and figure out the link between the two girls, and I have to say that I had no idea what the link would be and was pleasantly surprised when I discovered it. My only one grip would be that for such a well written book, the ending felt just a little too rushed for me, but otherwise this is a book that I would definitely recommend.

 

Final Thoughts

A unique and very well written debut novel. It made me read outside my comfort zone and I was suprised at how much I liked the historical part of this book. Will definitely be searching out more of Gandar’s books in the future.

Re-Readability: Yes

I would recommend this book to fans of: historial fiction, war stories, stories that cross over time periods, young adult fiction, friendships

Rating Really Liked it

 

 Monday, 25 July 2016

Review – We’ve Come to Take You Home by Susan Gandar

We’ve Come to Take You Home by Susan Gander is a book that instantly intrigued me from the moment I read the description of it. It was a bit different to the books I usually read but it’s always a pleasure to read something that’s a little out of my comfort zone, particularly when I end up enjoying it. Well I certainly enjoyed reading We’ve Come to Take You Home, that was so striking and moved me in a way that I was quite honestly not expecting it to.
The book was told from the perspective of two characters – Jessica Brown and Sam Foster – who are separated by time. For Jess, it’s 1916 and the time of the first world war and we witness her as a young girl who deals with the death of her father who died whilst fighting for his country and the death of her baby brother before being sent away by her mother to work as a maid for a relatively well-to-do family in London. Meanwhile Sam Foster lives some 100 years later and sees very little of her father who is often away, flying all over the world in his job as an airline pilot. One day Sam’s world is thrown upside down when her father’s future life is in jeopardy following his involvement in an accident. Whilst not becoming clear until towards the end, the lives of Jessica Brown and Sam Foster are very closely linked in a way that was quite unexpected…
Both Jessica’s and Sam’s stories were enjoyable and engaging in their own ways, which meant that both were characters who I felt able to connect to in one way or another. Both girls had a story to tell which I couldn’t help but feel quite emotional about at times and it was a pleasure to get to know each of them as the novel progressed. However, there was one particular story that really stuck out for me and that was Jessica’s, whose experiences I found especially interesting and who I could quite happily have read a whole book about.
The thing I loved most about this book was the way that it was written with some very short, bite-sized chapters that were at the same time packed full of action. For me, I found that the length of the chapters contributed a great deal to this book as they added to the sense of tension and drama that was building from the very start of this very unique and cleverly-crafted novel. Throughout the duration of the novel, Susan Gander’s style of writing was really something very special and overall she did a wonderful job at writing a very complex and intricate novel. My only complaint is that the ending of the book seemed a little bit rushed and I would’ve liked to have seen a bit more to it.
We’ve Come to Take You Home is without a doubt a book that really gets you thinking about all of the possibilities as to how the two girls are going to end up meeting. It’s also one that makes you stop, think about and feel grateful for all you have in life. It was a highly compelling read that I could not bear to be parted from and one that subsequently made for very quick reading. For a debut novel it was mightily impressive and I hope that this won’t be the first and last book written by Susan.

**Blog Tour** We’ve Come to Take You Home. Guest Post

WHY I WROTE THE BOOK

When I was in my early teens, I was in the car, with my father and mother, and my mother was talking about something that had happened, in the past. And I said, ‘The past! What’s the past? It’s only the future that matters.’

My parents, particularly my mother, were furious. But it took many years for me to understand the clumsiness of my comment and why it angered, and upset, my mother so much.

My grandfather, on my father’s side, fought in France during the First World War. He was badly wounded and shipped back to England. It was on a hospital train, rattling its way through France, he met my grandmother, Bertha – it was she who nursed him. After the war ended, they married – theirs was a happy ending.

My mother’s father, my grandfather, also left home and went away to fight in the First World War. But he came back a shadow of himself. He was someone, and I have a very dim memory of him, who you weren’t allowed to touch or talk to – because if you did, he would explode, physically and verbally.

It has taken me many years to understand and appreciate all this. So, I wanted to write a book which showed the link between now, the present, and the past – which tried to explain, show, that we wouldn’t be living the lives we have now without the sacrifices our parents, grandparents and, perhaps, even great grandparents made for us during their lives.

I also wanted to write a book which would say to its reader something along the lines of, ‘stop thinking and living small, start thinking and living big’. And, if you’ve got a gift that non-one else has, whatever it is, then use it. And, if that means being different to everyone else, being a bit weird, even eccentric, you should still use it, even more so.

Differences should be encouraged, explored and shared, rather than hidden away.

Hidden away …

It’s the old skeleton, the one we, and the society we live in, hide in a cupboard. We lock it in and throw away the key in the hope that it will never get out. But, of course it will. Because the day we are born, is the day we die. And that’s the one thing, whoever we are, wherever we live, man, woman, rich and poor, we all share – death.

In ‘WE’VE COME TO TAKE YOU HOME’ Sam can only conquer death if she overcomes her fear.  I wanted to write a book which would, even in just a small way, get that skeleton out of that cupboard and shake it around a bit. Try and make it into something we could actually accept, even talk about, be just a little less afraid of, rather than something we run away from

original posting here : https://thelittlecontemporarycorner.com/2016/07/24/weve-come-to-take-you-home-by-susan-gandar-blog-tour/

It’s the third day of the blog tour for We’ve Come to Take You Home! I was so excited to read this book because the premise sounded fascinating. I remember a few weeks ago when Sarah mentioned it to me and I jumped at the chance of reading it. Here’s a little info about the novel and author, Susan Gandar, as well as some of my own thoughts on We’ve Come to Take You Home.

My Thoughts

The differing perspectives in this novel is one of my favourite aspects of it. I love that the two girls are almost a century apart and live such contrasting lives on the surface, however so many parallels can be made. Both of the girl’s stories are beautifully emotional. The protagonists, Sam and Jessica, are easy to relate to and offer an open and honest perspective on their lives.

As I said at the start of this post, I was excited by the premise of the novel and thankfully, the story kept me interested! Sam’s visions of the past are rather jarring which is great because you feel how she does in the book. She is disorientated and this feeling is translated really well with the writing.

This is a fascinating premise and I would recommend it, especially if (like me) you enjoying reading fiction from the World Wars.

 

THE WRITING GARNET

A place to share a passion for wonderful books and writing!

Original entry can be found here : https://thewritinggarnet.wordpress.com/2016/07/23/blogtour-weve-come-to-take-you-home-by-susan-gandar/

It’s TWG’s tour stop for Susan Gandar’s debut ‘We’ve come to take you home’! Thank you to Susan for sending me a signed (just had to) copy of the book personally, in return for my honest opinion!

I’ll be honest, I had to spend a while thinking about how I was going to write my review for this book, the first line of the post got changed multiple times, I just could not work out what to write. Now, before you put your head in your hands wondering if that was because I didn’t like the book, lift your head up. No, it’s not that I didn’t enjoy the book, I couldn’t find my words, the correct words, to describe a book that has so much raw emotional as well as the ability to draw you into a situation as though you had gone through it yourself.

‘We’ve come to take you home’ follows the life and the memories of Samantha Foster and Jessica Brown. It’s as though one life ends when another begins. The story isn’t as straight forward as I personally assumed it would be as it switches between the lives and memories of both the girls. That said, the amount of depth within the book makes up for my inability to work things out quicker ha!

The circumstances with Jessica’s life are truly harrowing and a lot of people may find that they relate to what she and her father went through in service. To be honest though, the way that Susan has written about the war-time, whether you are connected to it indirectly or not, it will probably make you feel slightly emotional.

As I read more of the book, I found myself connecting to more parts of it than I did others. That’s not a negative comment on the book itself, everyone will connect to things in a different way.
What would you do if you could see or feel things that had happened to other people? Unnerving really. Makes a very cleverly written story though!

My favourite part of Susan’s novel was her writing. Susan’s way of writing captivated me in multiple ways. She managed to create a feeling of power and intensity over such few sentences, it left me eager to find out what she writes next.
Despite the fact I found a few parts difficult to comprehend, overall the book was fascinating and definitely opened my eyes to differences in era’s and the differences in hidden emotion.

 

ALI – THE DRAGON SLAYER

Review – We’ve Come to Take You Home by Susan Gandar

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original entry can be seen here : http://cancersuckscouk.ipage.com/blogtour-review-weve-come-to-take-you-home-by-susan-gandar-giveaway/

My Review

I was lucky enough to be offered this book to read, the cover is incredibly powerful and has an intensity that pulled me in. I admit I was attracted more to the war aspect, the first world war is fascinating on so many levels and I was curious how this would work in  dual timelines.

Two young girls, separated by time .. Sam and Jess, their lives couldn’t be more different but there is a connection that pulls them together.

I absolutely adored the parts involving Jess, the graphic, cruel, heart-wrenching description of her life in service, the struggles she endured in all areas of her life. The background story of the war bubbling along in the background was incredibly well researched and delivered in a way that makes history captivating. The reader can almost smell and hear the atrocities happening. The decisions she was forced to consider made me want to weep.

While Sam had just as much impact on the book her life story seemed (in my opinion) to take a back seat, while it was all very cleverly woven in and thought out I never really connected with her like I did with Jess. I could sympathise with the situation with her father but got slightly confused as to the connections at times.

It was only when I got to the end and thought it through, everything slotted into place and it did actually show what a unique concept this was. I’m giving it 4 stars, and it would have got that on the Jess sections alone.

Many thanks to Susan and Neverland Blog Tours for the opportunity to read this.

 BLOG TOUR: GUEST POST FROM SUSAN GANDAR

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Welcome to the We’ve Come To Take You Home blog tour!

I am pleased to be kicking off the blog tour alongside Ali – The Dragon Slayer. Here, I’m sharing a guest post from Susan Gandar.

So what is a 21st century teenage girl doing on a 20th century World War One battlefield?

When I was writing ‘We’ve Come to Take You Home’, my film production designer father said, time and time again,

‘I don’t know how you’re going to achieve it, in terms of story, but I keep seeing a girl, a modern 21st century girl, standing in the middle of a World War One battlefield. And an active battlefield, where people are fighting and dying, rather than a 21st century one, more of a museum than a battlefield, which is perfectly possible for anyone of us to visit today’

This image stayed with me, I knew it was vitally important, but, as a writer, I didn’t have a clue how to achieve it. But then, one day, the thought dropped into my head. It was obvious. And from then on that image, that moment of story, became the core of ‘We’ve Come to Take You Home’. And, when it came to the front cover of the novel, it also became the obvious choice.

But it was only after a copy of the book had been sent to me that I began to understand that the front cover wasn’t just about that narrative moment. It’s also an image of another very strong theme running through the book.

That girl standing there in the trench could be Sam Foster, the present day protagonist in ‘We’ve Come to Take You Home’, but it could also be any one of us. And the barbed wire could be the coils found on a World War One battlefield but they could also be the coils of our fears, our doubts, which each and every one of us has tangled up inside our heads. And it’s only by climbing out of that trench, by cutting our way through those coils, by overcoming our doubts and conquering our fears, that we will be able to find our way to the peace and tranquillity of those fields, stretching away off into the distance, on that front cover.

About the bookbook cover with quote 800

Published: 28th March 2016 (Matador)

‘Powerful, intelligent and moving …’

Graeme Simsion, author The Rosie Project and The Rosie Effect

‘We’ve Come to Take You Home’ is an unusual and compelling story of love, loss and the importance of family.

Samantha Foster and Jessica Brown are destined to meet. One lives in the twentieth century, the other in the twenty-first century

April 1916 and thousands of men have left home to fight in the war to end all wars. Jessica Brown’s father is about to be one of those men. A year later, he is still alive but Jess has to steal to keep her family from starving. And then a telegram arrives – her father has been killed in action.

Four generations later, Sam Foster’s father is admitted to a hospital’s intensive care unit with a suspected brain haemorrhage. A nurse asks if she would like to take her father’s hand. Sam refuses. All she wants is to get out of this place, stuck between the world of the living and the world of the dead, a place with no hope and no future, as quickly as possible.

As Sam’s father’s condition worsens, her dreams become more frequent – and more frightening. She realises that what she is experiencing is not a dream, but someone else’s living nightmare…

We’ve Come to Take You Home is an emotionally-charged story of a friendship forged 100 years apart.

Amazon UK | Amazon US | Troubador

Giveaway

For a chance to win a signed copy of the book, open internationally please enter here: Rafflecopter – Good luck!

About the author

Susan Gandar signing booksMy father, John Box, was a film production designer, working on ‘Lawrence of Arabia’, ‘Dr. Zhivago’, ‘The Great Gatsby’, ‘A Man For All Seasons’ and the musical ‘Oliver’. (Click here for more on John ) Our house was always filled with people, usually eccentric, always talented, invariably stroppy, discussing stories. My mother put my father’s four Oscars to good use as toilet roll holders, doorstops and hat stands.

A major chunk of my childhood was spent loitering around on film sets. Who needs an ‘English education’ when you have the polystyrene-coated streets of downtown Moscow, ten miles outside of Madrid, to explore?

But then the years of ‘Who Will Buy My Sweet Red Roses’ came to a rather abrupt end. Reality knocked on the door in the guise of the Metropolitan Line to Shepherds Bush and the BBC. Working in television as a script editor and story consultant, I was part of the creative team responsible for setting up ‘Casualty’. I became known for going after the more ‘difficult’ stories at the same time successfully racking up viewing figures from 7 to 14 million.

I went on to develop various projects for both the BBC and the independent sector. The period I enjoyed most was working with Jack Rosenthal, a wonderful writer, on the series ‘Moving Story’ – ‘That’s a situation, a good situation, but now you need to make it into a story.’

Martin, my husband, was made an offer he couldn’t refuse and we left England to live in Amsterdam. ‘Ik wil een kilo kabeljauw, alstublieft’ will, if all goes well, buy you a piece of cod – I decided to concentrate on my writing rather than my Dutch pronunciation.

My debut novel, ‘We’ve Come to Take You Home’, set in the present and in 1918, a crossover aimed at the adult and young adult women’s popular fiction market, was published on 28th March by Matador.

We've Come to Take You Home - Blog Tour

So exciting to have a Neverland Blog Tour for We’ve Come to Take You Home, see the Facebook entries at the following link http://tinyurl.com/go3e396

Each day there were multiple activities. The diary below and links will take you to each posting, but I will add individual posts for each event in this Blog stream as well.

Friday 22nd July

Have Books Blog – @havebooksblog  https://havebookswillread.com/2016/07/22/blog-tour-guest-post-from-susan-gandar/

Ali The Dragon Slayer –  @DrewComps

http://cancersuckscouk.ipage.com/blogtour-review-weve-come-to-take-you-home-by-susan-gandar-giveaway/

Saturday 23rd July

The Little Novelist – @lilnovelist

http://www.littlenovelist.com/blog/blogtour-susangandar

The Writing Garnet – @kaishajayneh https://thewritinggarnet.wordpress.com/2016/07/23/blogtour-weve-come-to-take-you-home-by-susan-gandar/

Sunday 24th July

Little Contemporary Corner – @TLCCBlog

https://thelittlecontemporarycorner.com/2016/07/24/weve-come-to-take-you-home-by-susan-gandar-blog-tour/

Nat’s Reading Cloud – @Costajollylady

https://natsreadingcloud.wordpress.com/2016/07/24/blog-tour-weve-come-to-take-you-home-guest-post/

Monday 25th July

Han’s Book Reviews – @hansbookreviews http://hannahreviewingbooks.blogspot.co.uk/2016/07/review-weve-come-to-take-you-home-by.html?m=1

Broc’s Bookcase – @BrocsBookcase

http://brocsbookcase.com/blog-tour-weve-come-take-home-susan-gander/

Tuesday 26th  July

Brizzle Lass – @BrizzleLass

https://brizzlelassbooks.wordpress.com/2016/07/26/blog-tour-review-weve-come-to-take-you-home-by-susan-gandar/

Lynsey James – @Lynsey1991

https://lynseyjames.wordpress.com/2016/07/26/weve-come-to-take-you-home-by-susan-gandar-review/

Wednesday 27th July

Whispering Stories – @storywhispers

http://whisperingstories.com/weve-come-to-take-you-home-by-susan-gandar-blog-tour-excerpt-giveaway/?platform=hootsuite

Bookish Jottings – NO TWITTER https://bookishjottings.wordpress.com/2016/07/27/weve-come-to-take-you-home-by-susan-gandar-blog-tour-review/piccie-248/

 

Thursday 28th July

Wonderfully Bookish – @WBookishBlog https://wonderfullybookish.wordpress.com/2016/07/28/weve-come-to-take-you-home-blog-tour/

Becca’s Books – @beccasbooksuk

http://thisisbeccasbooks.blogspot.co.uk/2016/07/blog-tour-book-review-giveaway-weve.html

Friday 29th July

The Pretty Purple Polka Dot – @PrettyPPD https://prettypurplepolkadots.wordpress.com/2016/07/29/blog-tour-weve-come-to-take-you-home-by-susan-gander/

Bloomin Brilliant Books – @Bbrilliantbooks

https://www.bloglovin.com/blogs/bloomin-brilliant-books-14978169/blog-tour-weve-come-to-take-you-home-by-susan-5032955977