Genevieve Graham's latest novel, Come From Away, takes us back to the small fishing outport of East Jeddore, Nova Scotia - also the setting for her previous book, Tides of Honour. (my review)
Tides of Honour was a historical piece set in WW1 featuring Danny and Audrey. I was thrilled to see that Come From Away continues the story of the Baker family with the next generation. It is now 1942 and war is yet again raging. The three Baker sons have headed off to fight, leaving sister Grace at home to help her parents and work in the village.
Here's the facts - German U-boats (submarines) did in fact patrol along Canada's East Coast - and sunk over 44 Canadian ships, including the SS Caribou, a passenger ferry. But, here's the absolutely fascinating bit - Come From Away is based on a local legend that is very possibly quite true. In 1942, a small group of German soldiers attended a local Christmas dance in East Jeddore. And it is this incident that is the inspiration for Graham's latest novel. What a great premise!
Where to start? I love the setting. Having visited this area, I was able to easily visualize the village, the sea, the landscape and the beauty of this part of Canada. Graham captures the tone and timbre of those war years, detailing everyday life, the difficulties and heartbreak that war brings but juxtaposing that with the perseverance, community spirit and strong family ties of these Nova Scotians.
But it is the characters and their lives that make the books for me. I loved revisiting - it felt like catching up with old friends. But this book belongs to Grace - and her love story.
Could this have really happened? I like to think so. Come From Away is a lovely story. If you enjoy historical fiction with a strong helping of romance, you're going to want to read Genevieve Graham. Read an excerpt of Come From Away.
And the title? Come From Away is a traditional term used for anyone who wasn't' born there.
You can connect with Genevieve Graham on her website, like her on Facebook and follow her on Twitter.