An epic war story which follows 3 young characters as their lives are transformed by war The beautifully vivid descriptions transport you into a moment detail, colour and mood are captured perfectly, allowing you to feel as though you re watching scenes unfolding before you The book switches between the three characters with ease Sometimes I find books which jump around difficult to follow, but the author gives you enough to satiate your interest in one thread before moving on to the next The historical context made the book an interesting read The amount of research carried out is impressive and I felt like I leaned a lot about World War 2, especially the merchant navy voyages to Russia via the arctic The shifts in society happening at the time are interesting to read about as well, with Olivia shaking off the shackles of a Victorian style upbringing and forging a life for herself outside of the expectations of her family and class All in all an enjoyable read which kept me lost in the plot until the early hours for several nights This is historical fiction at it s best and if you read this book you will see why Author Vanessa de Haan has written a book that will not only have you flying through the pages, but she will hold you fully engaged in the story So much so you won t want to put it down And when you do, it will be because you ve arrived at the end of the story and if you are like me you ll be wantingAn amazingly well written story that I highly recommend.
Absorbing And Richly Observed, The Restless Sea Is A Masterful Chronicle Of The Turbulent Years Of The Second World WarThree Lives Collide In A Way That Only The War Makes Possible Jack, A Child Of The Blitz, Has Fled The Law To Become A Seaman In The Merchant Navy The Frozen World Of The Russian Arctic Convoys May Be Harsh, But It Opens His Eyes To A New LifeWhile On Leave In The Navy S Secret Scottish Harbour, Jack Meets Olivia, The Cossetted Daughter Of An Officer Family Free To Roam, Olivia Relishes The New Freedom Granted By War But Her Family And Especially The Well Connected Charlie, Now A Fast Rising Pilot Don T Welcome These Changes Least Of All The Arrival Of Jack, The Boy Who Casts Doubt On Each Of Their FuturesThe War Inflicts Danger And Social Upheaval Like Never Before But The Most Unlikely Friendships Are Forged In Times When People Live Like They Don T Want Tomorrow To Come This WWII novel covers the entire war over three characters stories Charlie, Jack, and Olivia , providing different insights into what the war was like for a young woman and two men from very different backgrounds The main plot is formed by the protagonists interactions with each other.
For the most part, the book felt very realistic, due to the huge level of detail and evident research put in by the author Her descriptions of the scenery and everyday life during the war were very evocative, which made the book feel pretty harrowing at times In some senses, I much preferred this book over other WWII books, because its grittiness and the trauma of the protagonists feltrealistic than the light touch treatment and nicey nicey romances in other novels such as The Guernsey Literary Potato Peel Society .
So why only 2 stars Firstly, the book is incredibly long at nearly 500 pages The battle scenes felt overly detailed and there was a lot of dialogue, where a narrator overview would have provided a quicker explanation of what was happening I couldn t help but feel the author tried to cover too much in including the entire war plus three protagonists and their interactions Since Charlie was the least likable and his piloting battle scenes were hard to follow, I d have enjoyed the book far better if it just followed Olivia and Jack.
Secondly, andproblematic for me, was that the plot and character interactions were far beyond believable Characters just happen to bump into each other frequently, which feels highly unlikely in the chaos of war While I can believe that two people who know of each other might meet on a train the second coincidence , the number of coincidences became ridiculous, and this really detracted from the realism of the book.
I received this copy of The Restless Sea by Reading Groups for Everyone as part of my book club The Unconventional Book Club reviews at.
Goodreads Giveaway Win I didn t really enjoy this one to be honest There was often too long between each point of view, meaning that you were going back in the timeline and not 100% on what point in time you were, and sometimes it felt a little bit like a list of what was happening Things happened either really slowly or really quickly It was interesting to read about the war and finding out things that I didn t already know about but it didn t quite make up for it.