Seventeen stories, thirteen authors, a second war. Once again Manifold Press’s writers explore the lives of LGBTQ+ people and their war-time experience in cities, towns and countryside across the world.
Amidst war and peace, in the thick of violence or in an unexpected lull, these stories of the Second World War take the reader far and wide: through Britain, Europe, Asia and South America, from loss and parting to love and homecoming. As for home, it may be an ordinary house, or a prison camp, or a ship: but it is, in the end, where you find it, however far you have to go. Read this book, and make the journey yourself.
An anthology edited by Heloise Mezen and featuring authors:
Farah Mendlesohn grew up in Birmingham in the 1970s where she attended the King David Jewish School. She acquired a passion for Birmingham History at school. Later she discovered the world of historical romances. She began writing fiction after teaching creative writing at Middlesex University and then at Anglia Ruskin University for several years and wondering if she could put into practice what she taught. She lives in the Midlands with far too many books, her partner, and two siamese cats.
Everything changes for Ann Gray when her father dies and her closest friend Jane marries and moves away. Ann must give up the independence and purpose she found as mistress of her father’s parsonage in the country, and move to her uncle and aunt’s new-style house in the growing city of Birmingham. The friendship of Ann’s cousins – especially the mathematically inclined Louisa – is some compensation for freedoms curtailed. But soon Ann must consider two very different proposals, either of which will bring yet more change. Should she return to her village home as wife of the new parson Mr. Morden? Or become companion to the rather deliciously unsettling widow Mrs. King…?
Elin Gregory lives in South Wales and has been making stuff up since 1958. Writing has always had to take second place to work and family but now the kids are grown up it’s possible she might finish one of the many novels on her hard drive and actually DO something useful with it.
Historical subjects predominate. She has written about ancient Greek sculptors, 18th century seafarers but also about modern men who change shape at will and how echoes of the past can be heard in the present. Heroes tend to be hard as nails but capable of tenderness when circumstances allow.
There are always new works on the go and she is currently writing about the Great War, editing a contemporary romance and doing background reading for a story set in Roman Britain.
What an utterly delightful time I had reading this! Another new-to-me-author, Elin Gregory, completely lived up to the glowing reviews I’d seen for other books. She transported this Florida lady into the middle of a small Welsh village and if it wasn’t so cold, I’d move there.THE BONES OF OUR FATHERS reviewed by Hearts on Fire Reviews
Gregory displays a deft hand at crafting historical espionage with a classic touch, which is then enhanced by the touching romance.ELEVENTH HOUR reviewed by The Novel Approach
As war rages in France, battles are also being fought on the Home Front.
Bethan Harrhy, farmer’s wife, does her best to keep her family happy as prices rise and the weather worsens. Nye, her husband, is angry and worried. Alwyn, her brother, is injured and shaken by his experiences in the trenches. Her baby is teething and there’s another on the way. Surely having her brother’s best friend to stay, another face, another voice, another pair of hands, can only be a good thing? But when Joe arrives, Bethan is forced to confront ideas she had never even guessed at and makes a terrible mistake.
With conflict at home and abroad, can there be a happy ending for any of them?
It is 50 years since the Sexual Offences Act 1967 decriminalised private homosexual acts between men over 21 in England and Wales – a partial victory, but also a deeply significant one. This free anthology of extracts from Manifold Press titles illustrates in a modest way the changes experienced by gay men over the centuries in Britain, and how these may have affected individuals.
It’s 1909, and on leaving the workhouse young lovers Ben and Matthew must find their places in the world. Luck brings jobs and somewhere to live, but their security is short-lived when England begins to prepare for war. Ben can’t wait to go to France and fight for his country, and it isn’t long before Matthew receives the news he’s dreaded. Ineligible for military service Matthew must stay at home, his life disintegrating – until, years later, the arrival of a stranger helps him learn to live for the future again.
Malcolm Bright, brand new museum curator in a small Welsh Border town, is a little lonely until – acting as emergency archaeological consultant on a new housing development – he crosses the path of Rob Escley, aka Dirty Rob, who makes Mal’s earth move in more ways than one.
Then Rob discovers something wonderful, and together they must combat greedy developers and a treasure hunter determined to get his hands on the find. Are desperate measures justified to save the bones of our fathers? Will Dirty Rob live up to his reputation? Do museum curators really do it meticulously?
Answers must be found for the sake of Mal’s future, his happiness and his heart.
April 1945. The Russians are shelling what remains of the 9th army of the Wehrmacht. Obergefreiter Karl Meisner has survived five years of a war he didn’t want, but now it seems he won’t reach his 26th birthday. Taking on responsibility for one of the new young recruits gives Karl a reason to keep going – and soon their war is over, as they surrender to the Allies at Tangermünde. Eventually Karl is placed in a prison camp in England – and it’s there that his life unexpectedly blooms. For it’s there that Karl meets Nathaniel Cyfer – a sergeant in the British army and an expatriate German Jew.
Originally from South Wales, Alexa has lived for over thirty years in the North West of England. Now retired, after a long career in teaching, she devotes her time to her obsessions. Alexa began writing when her favourite character was killed in her favourite show. After producing a lot of fan fiction, she ventured into original writing. She is currently owned by two mad cats and spends her time writing about the men in her head, watching her favourite television programmes, and usually crying over her favourite football teams.