The Betrayal Blog Tour

Treachery and theft lead to death – and love

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1940. Teresa Bichard and her baby are sent by her beloved husband, Leo, to England as the Germans draw closer to Guernsey. Days later they invade…
1942. Leo, of Jewish descent, is betrayed to the Germans and is sent to a concentration camp, never to return.
1945. Teresa returns to find Leo did not survive and the family’s valuable art collection, including a Renoir, is missing. Heartbroken, she returns to England.
2011. Nigel and his twin Fiona, buy a long-established antique shop in Guernsey and during a refit, find a hidden stash of paintings, including what appears to be a Renoir.

Days later, Fiona finds Nigel dead, an apparent suicide. Refusing to accept the verdict, a distraught Fiona employs a detective to help her discover the truth…
Searching for the rightful owner of the painting brings Fiona close to someone who opens a chink in her broken heart. Can she answer some crucial questions before laying her brother’s ghost to rest?
Who betrayed Leo?
Who knew about the stolen Renoir?
And are they prepared to kill – again?

The Betrayal is the sixth novel by Anne Allen in her series set on beautiful Guernsey. If you haven’t indulged yourself by immersing yourself into her world yet, then what are you waiting for? Even though this was the first one that I’d read, it stood up well as a stand-alone piece but I enjoyed it so much, it’s left me keen to explore the other five as soon as I can.

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The only novel I’d previously read that gave me insight into the occupation of the Channel Islands was the fantastic Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society

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This prior understanding of the Nazi occupation helped me immerse myself in the second part of the novel’s dual narrative, and I soon found myself lost in this book which I read all in one go. Dual narrative novels are a great favourite of mine but sometimes I can fall into the trap of enjoying one story much more than the other and flipping forward impatiently to “get back” to the more interesting narrative. I can honestly say that The Betrayal felt well- balanced on tbevejoke with the two different time periods both having sufficient charm and “draw” to allow me to move between them effortlessly.

Fiona was my favourite character and I loved the way that her quest drew me in. Who hasn’t yearned to start up a small shop filled with things they love? Fiona’s story with all the ensuing mystery over the hidden stash of Isi tings really captured my imagination and I found myself daydreaming about finding a lost Dickens manuscript and what I’d do if my daydream of opening my very own beautiful wee bookshop ever came true…

I’ve never been to the Channel Islands but The Betrayal was certainly a real temptation to me in drawing me there if I ever get the chance. Both time periods use the dramatic setting to great effect and it was my ability to be transported there through the skill of Anne Allen’s writing that made me wish that I could see these beautiful islands for myself and walk in Theresa and Fiona’s footsteps.

The Betrayal will be enjoyed by lovers of both historical fiction and romance who enjoy being immersed in a good story with characters that you can imagine yourself meeting and interacting with. I found Fiona’s narrative hen more compelling but I was totally engrossed in Theresa’s wartime narrative and broken hearted over what she and many others like her had to endure during this bleak time in history. I love novels that you finish knowing more about a period than you did before reading them, and this is certainly the case with The Betrayal. I enjoyed this book a lot and will certainly be recommending her to my mum who certainly enjoys a period romance and who I think will definitely become a firm fan of Anne Allen and her Guernsey novels.

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Writer On The Shelf

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Anne Allen lives in Devon, by her beloved sea. She has three children, and her daughter and two grandchildren live nearby. Her restless spirit has meant a number of moves which included Spain for a couple of years. The longest stay was in Guernsey for nearly fourteen years after falling in love with the island and the people. She contrived to leave one son behind to ensure a valid reason for frequent returns.

By profession, Anne was a psychotherapist, but long had the itch to write. Now a full-time writer, she has written The Guernsey Novels, six having been published and the seventh, The Inheritance, is due out in 2018.

Social Media Links – Website: http://www.anneallen.co.uk

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AnneAllen21

Great news if you fancy reading Anne’s back catalogue:

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A Triple Celebration and a Price Reduction!

For this week only, until 18th February, the price of books 2-6 of The Guernsey Novels is only £1.99, with book 1, ‘Dangerous Waters, remaining at 99p

This is in celebration of Anne Allen’s birthday, the 6th anniversary of the publication of ‘Dangerous Waters’ and the recent publication of book 6, ‘The Betrayal’.

Check out the other bloggers on The Betrayal Blog Tour this week and keep your eyes peeled for news of the fabulous Giveaway of a signed copy

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Thank you so much to Rachel for inviting me on the Blog Tour and introducing me to the Guernsey series. I can’t wait to read the rest now

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Home – Blog Tour

Home Blog Tour BannerJesika is four and a half.

She lives in a flat with her mother and baby brother and she knows a lot. She knows their flat is high up and the stairs are smelly. She knows she shouldn’t draw on the peeling wallpaper or touch the broken window. And she knows she loves her mummy and baby brother Toby.

She does not know that their landlord is threatening to evict them and that Toby’s cough is going to get much worse. Or that Paige, her new best friend, has a secret that will explode their world.

Heart-stopping. A need to read novel.” Kit de Waal, author of My Name is Leon

A brave, important, heart-breaking book.” Emma Flint, author of Little Deaths

 

As soon as I saw Home on the Penguin Books’ Facebook page, I was desperate to read it. It’s one of those books that presents you with such a perfectly-realised world view that you literally feel like you’re coming up for air when you have to take a moment away from it.

If you’ve read one of my reviews before, you’ll know that I absolutely detest spoilers so I’m going to try – as one of the very first stops on this tour – to avoid them so that you too can have the unblemished experience of ‘meeting’  Jesika for yourself.

I first saw Home on the Penguin Books Facebook page which made me desperate to read it. How gorgeous was the photo that they added to illustrate their post?

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Amanda Berriman might be a debut author, but you’d never imagine this from reading Home.  The clarity of voice that Jesika has rings out from every page and – this is the best of all possible book compliments – you actually forget that she is a created character in a novel and feel that she is there speaking to you and asking you to see her world as she sees it.

Most people might be put off by the fact that their narrator is 4 years old – with the obvious limitations that this causes in terms of comprehending what is going on around her and happening to her. I would say that its very restriction is Home’s very strength. It’s like bending down to hear a child speak and just for that moment the child and what they are saying to you becomes everything.  Jesika’s voice achieves this for the reader for by narrowing our gaze to hers, we very successfully experience her world as she sees it and feel what she is feeling in a profoundly affecting way.

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Jesika’s world is the world that we know is there,  but would rather not think about. Today it seems like it’s much easier to make documentaries about sink estates and call it ‘Feral kids go wild’ or something equally damning rather than attempt to see what these children are experiencing from their perspective.  Maybe the truth is that sometimes it’s just too difficult. Reading Home felt at times like being dropped into the world we were exposed to in I, Daniel Blake and seeing it from a toddler’s-eye-view. There is something even more horrifying, perhaps in seeing this world through the eyes of an innocent who has no idea that her audience see what she doesn’t and fully realises that not all childhoods need to be like this.

Berriman’s skill as a writer means that our immersion into Jesika’s world is seamless. I have heard several comparisons with Room and I agree that the worlds are equally fully realised but in Home the claustrophobia you feel is not merely physically limited – here in Home  the characters are trapped in one place by circumstances and the ‘baddie’ is a little harder to contemplate as what is trapping Jesika and her mum in their lives is the society we have contributed in creating.

I absolutely loved Home and was devastated to close the final page. For the entire day that I was reading Home, I felt that whole experience of ‘doublethink’ where you are at once immersed in a character’s world and at the same time able to see things that they can’t and want to be able to reach into the pages and steer them through – whilst understanding that you simply can’t. This book does contain themes that some readers might find upsetting and although they are dealt with in a subtle and dignified way, the subject of child abuse is a red flag for some readers who should be warned that this novel might be very challenging indeed for them.

 

I’d like to thank the very lovely  Anne Cater for inviting me to kick off this blog tour alongside her and I definitely recommend that you go and check out her #MyLifeInBooks post with Amanda Berriman right after you read this blogpost. It’s ace.

If you get the chance, you should also also  take a moment to check out her reading tips in The Daily Express,  as she unfailingly recommends a right good read!

ANNE CATER HOME BLOGTOUR POST

 

If you enjoyed this post, please look out for my fellow bloggers’ Blog Tour stops over the next 10 days, I can’t wait to see what they think

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If you liked the sound of Home, click here and you can order yourself a copy – and if you liked it, you could drop a review on Amazon, Goodreads or anywhere else that might help a debut author get some exposure – it really does make the difference!

Order Home here – out Feb 8th

WRITER ON THE SHELF

Amanda Berriman

Amanda Berriman was born in Germany and grew up in Edinburgh, reading books, playing music, writing stories and climbing hills.
She works as a primary school teacher and lives on the edge of the Peak District with her husband, two children and dog.
 
Follow Amanda on Twitter at @MandyBerriman