Tuesday, 4 August 2015

The Last Embrace by Pam Jenoff **Blog Tour**

Today on the blog, I have been lucky enough to have been invited to take part in the blog tour for the wonderful The Last Embrace by Pam Jenoff, the tale of forbidden love in a time torn apart by war. While I am sometimes skeptical of books set during the war (I read a lot of War literature while I was studying for my Literature A-level years and years ago and haven't quite gotten over it), this sounds like something a little different and it has managed to get me quite excited about the idea of reading another novel set during WW2.

If you've not heard of the book before (as I hadn't before being contacted about the blog tour), here is a little information to get you started:

The Last Embrace
Series: None
Pages: 384
Publisher: MIRA
Release date: 13th August 2015

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Goodreads synopsis:
Forbidden love in the time of war, this is essential reading for fans of emotional historical romance, perfect for fans of Katie Flynn and Maureen Lee.

August 1940 and 16-year-old refugee Addie escapes Fascist Italy to live with her aunt and uncle in Atlantic City. As WW2 breaks, she finds acceptance and love with Charlie Connelly and his family.

But war changes everything: secrets and passions abound, and when one brother’s destructive choices lead to the tragic death of another, the Connelly family is decimated, and Addie along with them.

Now 18, she flees, first to Washington and then to war-torn London where she is swept up with life as a correspondent. But when Charlie, now a paratrooper, re-appears, Addie discovers that the past is impossible to outrun. Now she must make one last desperate attempt to find within herself the answers that will lead the way home.

I am extremely lucky to have been offered the opportunity of hosting Pam on Pen to Paper, and of course I couldn't turn the offer down. Pam has very generously written a post for us that includes a list of books that have inspired her writing. So without any further interruption from me, here is Pam and her inspiring list of literature!

It is tremendously daunting to attempt to answer the question, “Which books have inspired your writing? So many different books from childhood to the present day have contributed on a conscious and sub-conscious level. So instead I offer a few types of books that have inspired my writing, with a handful of examples from each:

Books That Have Empowered My Writing: I do not have a Masters in Fine Arts degree or other formal training in writing. However, I have derived great value from books on writing craft. Foremost among these is Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg. She takes a Zen Buddhist approach to writing whereby one just throws it all down on the page without stopping to edit. This book really broke me open as a writer and I still use this method today.

Books That Affected Me As A Child: The stories we read as children take us places and form our dreams of where we want to go. The Mary Poppins series by P.L. Travers gave me my earliest images of England and set my feet firmly on the path overseas and to the years of living abroad that nourish my writing to this day.

Books With A Fresh Take On History: I read a lot of historical fiction and particularly appreciate books that show history through a different lens. For example, in Falling Angels, Tracy Chevalier writes about a gravedigger in Edwardian England. All That I Am by Anna Funder is a chilling account of the Nazi reach into Britain to stop German exiles from mounting a resistance during World War II from some very unique points of view. Such books remind me of the importance of the lens through which we tell a story.

Books With Beautiful Prose: Regardless of genre, I am inspired by beautifully written books that challenge me to examine my own writing with a fresh eye. Over the years, I have long remembered Air and Angels by Susan Hill and A Solider of the Great War by Mark Helrpin for this reason. More recently, I adored The Magician’s Lie by Greer McAllister (she does incredible chapter beginnings and endings), Life Drawing by Robin Black (striking and flawless) and of course All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr.

Books With Strong Female Characters: Many of my books feature women thrown into extraordinary circumstances. For this reason, I’m drawn to stories of strong women. I’m thinking here of the four missionary daughters in 1950’s Africa in Barbara Kingsolver’s The Poisonwood Bible, and more recently the remarkable French sisters during the war in Kristin Hannah’s The Nightingale.

Of course this is by no means an exhaustive list. I’m always looking for further inspiration, so I hope you will tell me what inspires you!

What a fantastic list of inspiring books! (I have to agree on The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver – it's one of my all-time favourites!) This has certainly added some more books to my already mammoth-sized wishlist – thank you, Pam, for your fantastic post and I look forward to reading The Last Embrace!

What do you think of Pam's choice of inspiring books? What would you add to the list? And what about The Last Embrace – are you excited to read it?
Let us know in the comments below.


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