Tuesday 24 March 2020

BLOG TOUR: The Walls We Build - Jules Hayes

I have been looking forward to this blog tour for quite some time as I was very fortunate to be an early reader of Jules Hayes' historical fiction debut.  I have beta read a couple of books in the past, where you read an early copy of a novel and provide constructive feedback to the author.  This beta read for Jules Hayes was something very special indeed, and a dream come true for a book lover, as I got a glimpse behind the curtain into the publishing process.  It certainly made writing the book look like the easy part; no disrespect intended.

My undying gratitude goes to Jules Hayes for involving me so much in finalising her amazing novel; it's one that is very special to me and as it's a Rachel's Random Resources Blog Tour you can win a signed copy for yourself.  That will be one very lucky winner indeed, so make sure you scroll down to enter the giveaway.  Good luck!

Three friends …

Growing up together around Winston Churchill’s estate in Westerham, Kent, Frank, Florence and Hilda are inseparable. But as WW2 casts its menacing shadow, friendships between the three grow complex, and Frank – now employed as Churchill’s bricklayer – makes choices that will haunt him beyond the grave, impacting his grandson’s life too.

Two Secrets …

Shortly after Frank's death in 2002 Florence writes to Richard, Frank’s grandson, hinting at the darkness hidden within his family. On investigation, disturbing secrets come to light, including a pivotal encounter between Frank and Churchill during the war and the existence of a mysterious relative in a psychiatric hospital.

One Hidden Life …

How much more does Florence dare reveal about Frank – and herself – and is Richard ready to hear?

Set against the stunning backdrop of Chartwell, Churchill’s country home, comes a tragic story of misguided honour, thwarted love and redemption, reverberating through three generations and nine decades.

For readers of Kate Morton, Rachel Hore, Katherine Webb, Lucinda Riley and Juliet West.

Passion, intrigue and family secrets drive this complex wartime relationship drama. A page turner. I loved it.” #1 bestselling author, Nicola May

What did I think?

This is one very special book; not only because I was one of the beta readers but because there is so much going on in the amazing dual timeline that The Walls We Build refuses to sit in any one genre.  There is something for everyone in this exceptional novel; it's part historical fiction, part family saga, part contemporary but completely brilliant.

The opening chapter, set in 2002, is so intriguing as we are introduced to Frank whose final thought is not of his wife Hilda but of Florence, the woman he truly loved.  Through Jules Hayes' outstanding storytelling we unravel the threads of Frank's life going back to a time when he, Hilda and Florence were childhood friends.  I couldn't help but wonder what on earth could have happened to cause such a rift between these inseparable friends.  As if that wasn't enough, it wasn't the only hook to grab my attention but I don't want to say too much for fear of spoiling the story for others; suffice to say there are a few secrets to be revealed.

Aside from Frank and Florence's story, Jules Hayes sets her historical story at Chartwell, the Churchill family home.  Now you would think that including such a huge character as Winston Churchill would take over the story but Jules Hayes shows us a different side to Churchill.  Frank works at Chartwell as a bricklayer and I loved seeing Churchill as a family man and a friendly employer rather than the larger than life persona of Prime Minister that we are more familiar with.  I don't know a lot about Winston Churchill so I was surprised to find out that he was actually a bricklayer himself.  I did google a few other fascinating facts about him that I read in The Walls We Build so I can definitely say that this is a very well researched novel.

There is so much mystery and intrigue of a family saga woven into the historical story that ensures The Walls We Build is a real page turner.  I usually read historical novels a bit slower than books in other genres but I found that I raced through The Walls We Build; having fingers in many genre pies, it's historical fiction but not as we know it.  I was hooked from start to finish, which is a rare feat in historical fiction.  Jules Hayes has written an exceptional cross-genre novel that will appeal to all readers.  Simply outstanding and VERY highly recommended.

I chose to read an ARC and this is my honest and unbiased opinion.

My rating:

Buy it from:
Amazon UK
Amazon US

About the author:

Jules Hayes lives in Berkshire with her husband, daughter and a dog. She has a degree in modern history and holds a particular interest in events and characters from the early 20th century. As a former physiotherapist and trainer – old habits die hard – when not writing Jules likes to run. She also loves to watch films, read good novels and is a voracious consumer of non-fiction too, particularly biographies.

Jules is currently working on her second historical novel, another dual timeline story.

Jules also writes contemporary thriller and speculative fiction as JA Corrigan.

Jules Hayes can be found at:

Twitter @JulesHayes6 - http://www.twitter.com/JulesHayes6
Facebook Author Page: JulesHayesAuthor - http://www.facebook.com/JulesHayesAuthor
Instagram: JulesHayes6 - http://www.instagram.com/juleshayes6
Writing as JA Corrigan, Jules can be found at: Website: http://www.jacorrigan.com
Twitter: @juliannwriter - http://www.twitter.com/juliannwriter
Facebook Author Page: JA Corrigan - http://www.facebook.com/jacorrigan
Instagram: corriganjulieann http://www.instagram.com/corriganjulieann


Giveaway to Win a Signed copy of The Walls We Build (Open INT)

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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