Review of ‘So Much Owed’

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When Dr. Richard Buckley returned to him home in Dunderrig after service in France in WWI, he was disillusioned with war and only wanted to be with his family. Returning with him was Solange Allingham, the widow of his best friend. Unfortunately, Buckley’s wife, Edith, bitter at him for serving in the British Army, sworn enemies of the nationalist Irish, becomes even more withdrawn after the birth of twins, James and Juliet, leaving them to Solange’s care. Eventually, Edith leaves him and goes to Dublin where she eventually marries a German national, despite never having officially divorcing.

The twins grow up under Solange’s care, considering her more their mother than the woman who gave birth to them. As the world enters the horror unleashed by the rise of Hitler in Germany, the twins grow into adulthood and their lives take divergent paths—paths that threaten the unity of the Buckley family.

So Much Owed by Jean Grainger is a stirring tale of the horrors of war and its impact on one family during a time of cataclysmic change. It reveals the depths of human emotion; love, betrayal, loyalty, and bravery in a way that most novels only touch on sketchily. The author takes a reader into the hearts and minds of the characters in such a way you come away feeling as if you know them as well as your next door neighbor—or best friend. This is s book that will bring tears to your eyes while at the same time leave you with a warm feeling in your heart.

The era comes alive under this author’s skillful hand. I give this book five stars without hesitation.


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