Published: 25th April 2013
Synopsis taken from Amazon:
‘For the past five weeks I’d prayed that I’d never see my brother’s name spelt out in poppies. In the weeks that followed I often wished I had.’
Jammy and Sonny McGann are brothers, but that’s where the similarities end. One is calm when the other is angry; one has a plan while the other lives purely in the moment.
When Jammy returns from Afghanistan a very different man to the one who left, it’s Sonny who is left to hold things together. But just how far will he go to save the brother who always put him first?
Inspired by S.E. Hinton’s The Outsiders and by the battles facing young soldiers all over the world, this is a devastating novel about brotherhood and sacrifice, from the award-winning author of Being Billy and Saving Daisy.
I thoroughly enjoyed this novel, the first I have read from Phil Earle.
The story follows two brothers, currently living very different lives. The story is told from their perspectives, making a refreshing change to read something seen from two, strong male characters. The plot and subject matter is very current and real, dealing with an issue close to many hearts both in the past and present.
The story deals with a particularly sensitive subject – the aftermath of war and soldiers suffering with PTSD. The topic had clearly been very well researched, it felt real and believable throughout. I felt great empathy for both characters, hoping for a positive ending. I enjoyed the sibling relationship – two brothers – and the journey that they undertook both individually and together throughout the novel. They both grew so much and their relationship, although near breaking point, grew from strength to strength too.
The scenes depicting war were well written – gritty, real and hard hitting. The novel was dramatic and fast paced, building up to the climax near the end. The loss and tragedy was also dealt with sensitively, but in no way sugar coated.
Overall, a fantastic read dealing with sensitive and current issues, one that I highly recommend.