Friday, 26 August 2016

The Cephalopod Coffeehouse: August 2016

Welcome one and all to the Cephalopod Coffeehouse, a cozy gathering of book lovers, meeting to discuss their thoughts regarding the works they enjoyed most over the previous month.  Pull up a chair, order your cappuccino and join in the fun.  If you wish to add your own review to the conversation, please sign on to the link list at the end of my post.  Here is the link:

A 5* book from me this month

So Much Owed


Jean Grainger

Read 3 August 2016


Approx. 364 pages


January,1918 – Dunderrig House, West Cork, Ireland.

Dr Richard Buckley returns to his beloved Dunderrig, disillusioned and damaged by the futility of war. At his side is Solange Allingham, his best friend’s widow who has lost everything she ever loved. 

Richard’s wife Edith is bitter at what she sees as her husband’s betrayal of his country by wearing a British uniform. After giving birth to twins, she withdraws into a silent world, finally leaving her family for strange new bedfellows. 

Solange is obliged to overcome her own heartbreak to become the mother Edith’s children so badly need. James and Juliet are inseparable and incorrigible and the life blood of Dunderrig. As they grow up, they come of age into a world where despite the horrors of the past, war looms large yet again.

From tranquil West Cork to wartime Belfast, from neutral Dublin to occupied France, the twins lives diverge in unforeseen ways as Dunderrig waits anxiously once more for the safe return of its children.

A sweeping historical saga, rich in romance, intrigue and mystery, all against the backdrop of the most turbulent times the world has ever witnessed.



The book starts at the end of WWI when an army doctor returns home to Ireland to his pregnant wife but bringing with him his best friend’s French widow.  The new born twins are rejected by their mother and taken care of by Solange and the housekeeper and her husband.

The children grow into adulthood and along comes WWII.

This was an amazing read, well written, descriptive, well rounded characters.  It lead us back to the days when social niceties had to be maintained, when people were treated differently according to their station in life. 

It is the first book I’ve read concerning the Irish position in the World Wars and that in itself was an eye opener to me. 

The twins have a close bond but a disagreement pulls them apart as they enter adulthood and they go their separate ways. 

The book takes us in to the awfulness of the Second World War and the things people had to do.  

It certainly made me think about the things that people believed and the things that people did during this turbulent time.

A brilliant book.