The Engaging Plot:
While set in the present, this contemporary fiction novel does have flashbacks to WW2 in order to give the reader the information they need to make sense of present day situations.
90 year old Thomas Mirren is the main character and while some people have likened him to Ove in Fredrik Backman’s A Man Called Ove, Thomas definitely has his own brand of grumpiness. But that doesn’t mean he’s unhappy when surrounded by his friends at his local Royal British Legion’s club and bar. The other main characters, Ian and Ellie, are father and daughter and the plot of the book revolves around an article journalist Ian publishes. The article claims that Thomas is lying about his service record, which comes as a surprise to him and his army buddies.
The biggest theme running through the book is that of not judging a book by its cover. All too often we see the old person in front of us and forget that they were once young, like we are now. We forget that they have done similar things to us in our lives. Maybe they were wild once, maybe they travelled the globe, maybe they were in a rock band! But we don’t know if we never stop to ask.
Influences and Inspirations:
The main inspiration of the book came from an encounter the author, Michael Whitworth, had with an old man. Michael was driving when he nearly ran an old man over one day. He’d stepped out into the road and Michael was initially quite cross as he sauntered away as if nothing had happened. But the old man reminded him of another old man Michael used to know when he was a child. The man sold nails and screws from a tiny shop near Michael’s house, and everyone thought of him as odd. When he died, they found out that he’d been a scientist in his younger days and had helped to develop the bouncing bomb during the Second World War. Very few people knew about it and he had never mentioned it to anyone. That old man who sold nails and screws had done more in his lifetime than the rest of them put together.
Giving to charity:
The author is committed to donating 50% of the royalties he receives for the book to the Royal British Legion. Every year on the anniversary of the book’s release (8th November) the author makes his donation, which is made up of royalties from all the book formats. So whether you buy the book in ebook, paperback or audiobook format, you’re helping the Royal British Legion with every purchase.
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