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.
A resident of the north-west of England, Morgan Cheshire has had a lifelong interest in botany and ecology and has recently developed taste for genealogy too – and rapidly discovered a colourful family history to explore! She is also a patchworker and quilter, a gardener when time permits, and the enthusiastic grandmother of four boys and two girls. She has been creating and sharing fiction for more than thirty years, but has only recently ventured into the realms of professional publication.
The writing is elegant and gentle. The characters of Daniel and Harrison are perfectly set in the time of the story, at no time did I ever not think I was in Victorian England.ALWAYS WITH US reviewed by Mrs Condit Reads Books
The characters absolutely charmed me — Jem Bradley who would do anything for his family, including becoming an indentured servant, even if his profession was so far from farming, and Will Middleton, who would do anything to help the innocent to obtain justice.SOLEMN CONTRACT reviewed by Reviews by Jessewave
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.
In no particular order: woman, writer, in a relationship with my wife since 1981 (though we had to wait until 2001 until we could actually get married), mother of two grown sons, owner of cats (I can pretend, can’t I?), reader and a lot more.
I started to write stories when I was nine or ten, and haven’t stopped ever since. I published a novel and other fiction and non-fiction. But the internet changed everything, because I discovered there’s a lot more women (and quite a few men) interested in reading and writing m/m stories. And so Ravages happened!
This is a well written, sweet story that readily defines the attitudes, dangers, and scheming required to successfully navigate life as a gay man in the 1960s. … it is a lovely book with engaging characters that I am thankful to have been able to read.IN THE PRIVACY OF THEIR HOME reviewed by Divine Magazine
… a wonderful story (but not for the faint of heart) … It’s a book well worth reading if you want to be amazed by just how strong the power of love can be. If you like your romance with a heavy dose of reality, please read this book. I think it will change you in some way, just as it did me.RAVAGES reviewed by Miz Love Loves Books
While the story starts with horrific violence, it is also one of the most romantic books I have ever read.RAVAGES reviewed by Reviews by Jessewave