Delighted you have joined me today for the latest stop on the Blog Tour for THE LAST VILLAGE by AUDLA ENGLISH. My thanks to the author, publisher and Anne of Random Things Tours for putting this all together and letting me be part of it all. It’s a real pleasure!
The Last Village by Audla English
· Paperback: 214 pages
· Publisher: Independently published (12 Oct. 2018)
· Language: English
· ISBN-10: 1723846171
· ISBN-13: 978-1723846175
ABOUT THE BOOK
CHILL WITH A BOOK AWARDS- PREMIER READERS’ AWARD WINNER
2019 AMERICAN FICTION AWARDS FINALIST- ROMANCE: HISTORICAL
The majestic Souter Lighthouse stands proudly at the edge of the cliff top surrounded by open grassy empty fields and overlooking a vast blue wilderness. Anna Charles knows nothing of the life that her grandmother once had here. It wasn’t until an unexpected engagement, that Anna discovered the past of her Gran and the truth behind an enduring love.
Seventy years earlier, Lillian Smith, had been part of the close-knit community that once thrived in the village that existed next to the lighthouse. A chance meeting with a sailor one day, would change the course of her life forever.
A moving novel set in the North East of England. The Last Village is an enduring love story which spans the 1940’s and modern day, binding the generations.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Audla English grew up in the North East of England. Born in Sunderland, a graduate of Newcastle University and living in South Tyneside, she is passionate about this wonderful region which acts as an inspiration to her writing. Her award-winning debut novel ‘The Last Village’ is a dual time-line historical fiction and is written as a dedication to the now sadly demolished Old Marsden Village which was built by the Whitburn Coal Company in the 1870’s. The Marsden Rock coastal setting is also used to weave a family saga style narrative around a beautiful part of north east England. The novel is a moving love story about the life of Lily, a young woman growing up with her friends in 1945 whereas the other side of the story, in 2017, is about Anna and her own discovery of her grandmother’s past life- it is a novel which spans and binds the generations through family and friendship.
Twitter @AudlaE Website http://www.audlaenglish.co.uk/
I found this to be a charming and engaging story which combined the different timelines so well, and really gave you the different perspectives of how life had changed over the years for the characters. It really captures the essence of a village that was demolished, but how important it was to the people who lived there and as Anna gets to hear the story from her grandmother Lily of her recollections, it opens up so much history and shows just how many stories go forgotten about as time moves on.
In the present, Anna is preparing for her own wedding, and is reminiscing about the lovely times she used to spend with her grandmother as she grew up but how she knows very little of the life her grandmother led whilst growing up, so it is lovely for both Anna and Lily to share time together and share stories that show that although time and expectations may have changed, at the heart is the need to surround yourself with good people and to be supportive of one another.
I loved looking back in time with the stories that Lily shared. It tells of her experiences during the war and how the community all pulled together, but that childhood innocence they all had was taken by what they witnessed and lived through.
Anna is dealing with her own issues as her wedding approaches, namely some bitchy comments from a so called friend, and really brings to light how circumstances can change people. Whilst Anna is all about finding ways to include those closest to her on her big day, others are more concerned about showing off and changing in personality.
It was a really lovely read and both timelines had so much to explore and enjoy. With the historical aspect, alongside the human impact, it really gave you a sense of these characters and the dramas they had to face and there’s such a warmth about both Lily and Anna that you can’t help fall in love with the both!