Blog Tour: The Blue Bench by Paul Marriner

May 22, 2019 Blog Tour, Book review 4 ★★★★

The Blue Bench by Paul Marriner is no lighthearted, fun read. What it is instead is a beautifully written book depicting the long-lasting horrors of war. Long after the last shot is fired, the damage blasts on and on through the lives of the soldiers and their families.

Thanks to Random Things Tours for letting me participate in this blog tour, and for giving me the audiobook for review consideration. As always, no matter what the source of the book, you get my honest, unbiased opinion.

Blog Tour: The Blue Bench by Paul MarrinerThe Blue Bench by Paul Marriner
Published by Bluescale Publishing on June 20, 2018
Genres: Historical Fiction
Pages: 616
Format: Audiobook
Source: Blog Tour
Buy on Amazon

Margate 1920
The Great War is over but Britain is still to find peace and its spirit is not yet mended.
Edward and William have returned from the front as changed men. Together they have survived grotesque horrors and remain haunted by memories of comrades who did not come home. The summer season in Margate is a chance for them to rebuild their lives and reconcile the past.
Evelyn and Catherine are young women ready to live to live life to the full. Their independence has been hard won and, with little knowledge of the cost of their freedom, they are ready to face new challenges side by side.
Can they define their own future and open their hearts to the prospect of finding love?
Will the summer of 1920 be a turning point for these new friends and the country?

AUDIOBOOK Historical Tear Jerker Well Written

My thoughts on The Blue Bench by Paul Marriner

This book radiates warmth and friendship and portrays how friends can be a light at the end of the darkest tunnel. While the post war setting is drowning in sorrow and pain, there is also a hopeful feel because of the loyalty of the characters and their willingness to support each other.

At times I thought the pace was slow, but on reflection at the end of the book I wouldn’t have changed a thing. That meandering pace allows you to really get into the heart and souls of the characters and to experience their highs and lows with them.

The four characters are all so different but I have a soft spot in my heart for all of them. Edward badly maimed in the trenches, and in constant pain made me want to (very gently) hug him. Evelyn, the preachers daughter, feels huge empathy for Edward and really sees the man behind the horrific injuries. Catherine is full of life and I enjoyed her passion for fun and living. And William is a diamond in the rough, and a wheeler dealer but I couldn’t help but like him. Especially for his softer moments. 

Honestly, these characters feel unforgettable, and I have a hunch they will haunt me for a long time to come.

#TheBlueBench by @marriner_p is no lighthearted, fun read. What it is instead is a beautifully written book depicting the long-lasting horrors of war. @annecater #blogtour #audiobookreview Click To Tweet

I listened to the audiobook, and loved the narration by Colleen MacMahon. Her gentle voice brought the characters to life, and really helped transport me into the setting.

Rating Report
Did I feel it?
Overall: four-stars

Who should read The Blue Bench by Paul Marriner?

I’d recommend this to fans of historical fiction especially if you like to see serious themes examined (in particular post war traumatic stress). Fans of books such as The Nightingale, Last Christmas In Paris and The Oceans Between Us might also enjoy.

About Paul Marriner

Paul grew up in a west London suburb and now lives in Berkshire with his wife and two children. He is passionate about music, sport and, most of all, writing, on which he now concentrates full-time. Paul has written four novels and his primary literary ambition is that you enjoy reading them while he is hard at work on the next one (but still finding time to play drums with Redlands and Rags 2 Riches).


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4 Responses to “Blog Tour: The Blue Bench by Paul Marriner”

  1. Paul Marriner

    Hi Trish,

    Many thanks for your kind words on The Blue Bench, they are much appreciated and thank you also for mentioning Colleen MacMahon’s great narration. Ths is the first of my books to go to an audio version and Colleen has done an amazing job.

    Best wishes, Paul

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