Beyond Time and Tide by Anna Franklin Osborne is published with GooseWing Publications to honour the anniversary of Dunkirk.
Elsie, Monique and Josef are three young people who all have the horrors of war inflicted on them in different ways. Elsie lives on the coast of Dorset with her father and older brother, Jack. Her mother, Betsy, had walked out on them some years previously, no longer able to live in a fractured marriage, one damaged by the traumas of the Great War. Elsie’s Dad had returned from sea a broken man unable to be the husband he once was. Now angered with the way the world has treated him, he is a tough task-master and Elsie spends her days, when not in school, cleaning and cooking like her mother before her. Elsie has always had a strong desire to learn how to sail but her father, although a skilled sailor, has not set sail since the war ended. Frustrated after an uncle doesn’t take her out, Elsie feels that her young life is unfulfilled, until she meets Daniel. He is only a little older than Elsie but has suffered his own tragedies. Their connection is immediate and a strong friendship is established, one that would be tested many times in the challenging years ahead.
When Hitler’s invasion begins, they all listen to the news, unable to comprehend that another war is a possibility. Finally when Churchill announces that Britain is at war, Jack signs up, leaving Elsie distraught. But adversity can lead to some remarkable happenings as Elsie and Daniel soon discover.
Monique is a young French woman who has been dealt her own very personal hardships. She works on a small family farm in an area that soon becomes a playground for German soldiers. They rape and pillage their way through rural communities, leaving devastation in their wake as their relentless invasion through France continues. When Monique’s world is thrown into chaos she leaves her life and her home behind her unsure of where she will go but knowing that she can no longer remain as long as this aggression toward her country continues.
Josef is a young German soldier who walks the walk and talks the talk but inside Josef is slowly dying. Unable to comprehend the horrors inflicted by his own countrymen in the name of Hitler and a cause he never believed in, Josef makes a life-changing decision. With local assistance he sheds his uniform and makes his way toward the coast.
As Monique and Josef leave their lives behind them, Elsie and Daniel set sail for Dunkirk in the hope of rescuing Jack but instead they embark on a journey that changes the course of their lives forever.
Beyond Time and Tide is a tale that takes the reader into the world of three very strong individuals during those harrowing years of the Second World War and beyond. As their lives intertwine, their relationships shift as each faces a crisis of their own. Anna Franklin Osborne writes very sympathetically and with great empathy. When I read her previously published book, Walking Wounded, I said that it felt ‘like picking up a diary of a survivor’ as the characters became quite vivid and their experiences felt so real. In Beyond Time and Tide the moments of anguish are so intense, almost palpable, bringing the individual stories of Elsie, Monique and Josef very much to life. Genuine, empathetic and beautifully handled, Beyond Time and Tide, is an affecting story of love and betrayal, of torment and pain, an engrossing tale for anyone who enjoys reading historical fiction.
(c) Mairéad Hearne (Swirl and Thread)
Order your copy online here.