‘The first boat was returning.
Heavily overloaded, men crouching, huddled against one another and holding on tightly to avoid being thrown over the gunwales riding low in the choppy seas. And then, behind this little ship, another and then another, all chugging slowly, all loaded with men on every deck, every surface that could possibly hold the weight of a desperate man.’
– Beyond Time and Tide
[ About the Book ]
Three young people are thrown together in the waters of Dunkirk.
Elsie, a young English girl, struggling to keep her family safe and desperate to rescue her brother from the beaches.
Monique, a French farmer, running from the untold damage done unto her by German soldiers, with no plan but to get away from the German army and the home they defiled.
Josef, a German soldier who has committed an offence to his own honour, deserting the German army for whom he will no longer fight.
Three young people whose lives become intertwined in a way that will change each of them forever.
Beyond Time and Tide follows their struggle to survive their past: love, friendship and betrayal, and an onward quest to find redemption and what was lost to them all.
[ My Review ]
Beyond Time and Tide by Anna Franklin Osborne was published with GooseWing Publications on June 1st to honour the anniversary of Dunkirk.
Elsie, Monique and Josef are three young people who all have the horrors of war inflicted on them in different ways. Elsie lives on the coast of Dorset with her father and older brother, Jack. Her mother, Betsy, had walked out on them some years previously, no longer able to live in a fractured marriage, one damaged by the traumas of the Great War. Elsie’s Dad had returned from sea a broken man unable to be the husband he once was. Now angered with the way the world has treated him, he is a tough task-master and Elsie spends her days, when not in school, cleaning and cooking like her mother before her. Elsie has always had a strong desire to learn how to sail but her father, although a skilled sailor, has not set sail since the war ended. Frustrated after an uncle doesn’t take her out, Elsie feels that her young life is unfulfilled, until she meets Daniel. He is only a little older than Elsie but has suffered his own tragedies. Their connection is immediate and a strong friendship is established, one that would be tested many times in the challenging years ahead.
When Hitler’s invasion begins, they all listen to the news, unable to comprehend that another war is a possibility. Finally when Churchill announces that Britain is at war, Jack signs up, leaving Elsie distraught. But adversity can lead to some remarkable happenings as Elsie and Daniel soon discover.
Monique is a young French woman who has been dealt her own very personal hardships. She works on a small family farm in an area that soon becomes a playground for German soldiers. They rape and pillage their way through rural communities, leaving devastation in their wake as their relentless invasion through France continues. When Monique’s world is thrown into chaos she leaves her life and her home behind her unsure of where she will go but knowing that she can no longer remain as long as this aggression toward her country continues.
Josef is a young German soldier who walks the walk and talks the talk but inside Josef is slowly dying. Unable to comprehend the horrors inflicted by his own countrymen in the name of Hitler and a cause he never believed in, Josef makes a life-changing decision. With local assistance he sheds his uniform and makes his way toward the coast.
As Monique and Josef leave their lives behind them, Elsie and Daniel set sail for Dunkirk in the hope of rescuing Jack but instead they embark on a journey that changes the course of their lives forever.
Beyond Time and Tide is a tale that takes the reader into the world of three very strong individuals during those harrowing years of the Second World War and beyond. As their lives intertwine, their relationships shift as each faces a crisis of their own. Anna Franklin Osborne writes very sympathetically and with great empathy. When I read her previously published book, Walking Wounded, I said that it felt ‘like picking up a diary of a survivor’ as the characters became quite vivid and their experiences felt so real. In Beyond Time and Tide the moments of anguish are so intense, almost palpable, bringing the individual stories of Elsie, Monique and Josef very much to life. Genuine, empathetic and beautifully handled, Beyond Time and Tide, is an affecting story of love and betrayal, of torment and pain, an engrossing tale for anyone who enjoys reading historical fiction.
[ About the Author]
‘I have always worked in health care, and like so many other parents, hit a tiny crisis a few years ago when I felt that my purpose in life had narrowed to not an awful lot more than dashing between my work and being a mummy taxi.
I managed to find time to begin singing with a choir, and that helped me feel that I might have a more creative side to myself. One evening, my husband was out and, quite suddenly, I decided to Just Start Writing. I immediately hit the first obstacles of terrible handwriting and a broken laptop, so my writing career began that night in bed, typing into the note section of my smartphone, with no clear idea of what I wanted to say but resulting in a severe case of RSI and several short stories over the next few nights.
My husband was delighted that I had suddenly found this passion and kept encouraging me to write a novel, which I really felt I did NOT have in me. Later that summer, however, we were walking along a D-Day beach for no other grander reason than our ferry home from France being late, and I began telling our kids about my three great-uncles who were part of that day, and my grandmother who sewed parachutes for the paratroopers jumping over Normandy. Neil looked at me and smiled and said, ‘you do actually have a story there, you know….’
Walking Wounded was my first novel, and in many ways, came easily to me. Beyond Time and Tide was interrupted over and over again by serious family health crises, not to mention the Pandemic. As always, it was my family who encouraged me to keep coming back to it – and I am forever grateful that they helped me persevere.‘