They Also Serve

Written by Hilary Green
Review by Richard Bourgeois

This is the second instalment of an epic war time saga which began with Now is the Hour. It picks up where the other one finished and reading the first book enables you to engage with the characters a lot more. It continues the story of the men and women of the Fairbourne Follies, a group of stage people torn apart by the Second World War. The author’s knowledge of her period is detailed and well integrated into the story line without being too overwhelming with facts. Each of her characters has to come to terms with some agonising choices, and reading them in sequence helps to explain how they have come to the decisions they made. We go through wartime hardships and the shattering of dreams at a steady pace. This accelerates in the final chapters as you are left to wonder how it will all turn out, only to get to the end and realise that the story is by no means finished. It leaves you holding your breath for the next instalment. Some of the toughest fights take place off the battlefield, and this story of wartime sacrifices and life-changing decisions manages to grip your attention throughout. An exciting read.