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Summary

1938. Eighteen-year-old Sidney Chambers is dancing with Amanda Kendall at her brother’s birthday party at the Caledonian Club. No one can believe that there could ever be another war. 

Returning to London seven years later, Sidney has gained a Military Cross and lost his best friend. The carefree youth that he and his friends were promised has been blown apart - and Sidney, carrying a terrible, secret guilt, must decide what to do with the rest of his life. But he has heard a call: constant though quiet, and growing ever more persistent. 

To the incredulity of his family and the derision of his friends, Sidney must now negotiate his path to God: the course of which never runs smooth.

©2019 James Runcie (P)2019 Isis Publishing Ltd

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Friendship

A story of friendships between people who share the experiences of wartime loss and rebuilding lives after WW2

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A gentle tale light a Sunday Afternoon

I loved this book. Hit the spot, with some graphic descriptions of the horrors of WWII, but moves through the ups and downs of life’s challenges and questions.

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  • YTMc
  • 05-06-19

Grantchester prequel answers and poses questions

Sidney Chambers' war experiences turn him in the direction of the Church, much to the surprise and dismay of family and friends.

3 people found this helpful

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  • James W.
  • 30-06-21

Prequel to Grantchester series is okay

This book only makes sense if you are already a fan of the Grantchester series. Otherwise, it will be difficult to care about the characters or the storylines. The book is divided into four parts - Sidney’s experiences and loss in the Italian campaign in WW2; his survivor’s guilt and the way he deals with the loss of his best friend in the war; his decision to seek ordination in the church; and his friendship with Amanda Kendall. The first part drags a bit until human interactions start. Then the book picks up. The point of the book is to give a backgrounder for Sidney, and to a lesser extent, Amanda. We learn why Sidney went into the church, and gain a bit more of an understanding of Sidney’s relationship with Amanda. Runcie excels at character development and interaction, and this is the strength of this book. It’s just that, unless you are already a fan of the series, you won’t care too much about them. Peter Wickham is a very appropriate narrator for these stories.