Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Review: Past Encounters by Davina Blake (Book Tour)

England 1955.

The day Rhoda Middleton opens a letter from another woman, she becomes convinced her husband, Peter, is having an affair. But when Rhoda tracks the mysterious woman down, she discovers she is not Peter’s lover after all, but the wife of his best friend, Archie Foster. There is only one problem – Rhoda has never even heard of Archie Foster.

Devastated by this betrayal of trust, Rhoda tries to find out why Peter has kept this friendship a secret for so long. Her search leads her back to 1945, but as she gradually uncovers Peter’s wartime experiences she must wrestle with painful memories of her own. For Rhoda too cannot escape the ghosts of the past.

Taking us on a journey from the atmospheric filming of Brief Encounter, to the extraordinary Great March of prisoners of war through snow-bound Germany, PAST ENCOUNTERS explores themes of friendship, hope, and how in the end, it is the small things that enable love to survive.

Includes bonus material for reading groups.

Publication Date: November 22, 2014
Paperback; 442p
Genre: Historical Fiction/Literary Fiction

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 "the thought came that you can never put the past behind you, because the past is a part of you"

Deborah Swift is a favorite of mine, I adored The Lady's Slipper and The Gilded Lily.  Her writing style invited this reader into another world that I was totally immersed in.  Writing as Davina Blake it's almost like a different person altogether penned this book, and I mean that in a good way.  I cannot think of the proper word to describe it, but Past Encounters was a delicate and graceful, a more quiet book, if that makes sense.

Weaving back and forth in time, with different POV's the past is laid out in a believable manner right to the end. The war affects everyone differently, for Peter he choose to remain silent at least to his wife.  That's real, that's how lots dealt with their war experience.  A vivid picture is portrayed of his time in World War II, however he does share that with Archie because Archie was there with him.

There is depth to their lives and it was easy to get to know them.   Being left at home to wait  Rhonda has secrets of her own and those she has kept to herself also. 

I was unfamiliar with The Great Mar and other historical events in this book. Definitely an eye opener and emotional book that shows the lasting affect this war had on not just those physically in it.

"Without him, Archie would be able to move much more freely, yet Archie showed no signs of leaving him, had stuck by him all the way.  He wondered why.  Perhaps it was just that to die with a friend was better than to die alone."


  Praise for Past Encounters

“Her characters are so real that they linger in the mind long after the book is back on the shelf. Highly Recommended!” – The Historical Novels Review


Praise for Deborah Swift

“stellar historical fiction” -Orange Prize Nominee Ann Weisgarber
“compelling'” -Westmorland Gazette
“The past comes alive through impeccable research…and the sheer power of descriptive prose” -Lancashire Evening Post


Buy the Book

Amazon US
Amazon UK

Davina Blake used to be a set and costume designer for theatre and TV, during which time she developed a love of research which fueled her passion for the past. She holds an MA in Creative Writing from Lancaster University and also writes successful seventeenth century historicals under the pen name Deborah Swift. ‘Her characters are so real that they linger in the mind long after the book is back on the shelf. Highly recommended.’

The Historical Novels Review From Davina: ‘I was inspired to write ‘Past Encounters’ because I live close to the railway station where the iconic ‘Brief Encounter’ was filmed in 1945. I have often used the refreshment room that featured in the film when waiting for a train. I love a good cup of tea, preferably accompanied by a chocolate brownie!’

For more information visit Davina Blake’s website and blog. You can also find her on Twitter.

Past Encounters Blog Tour Schedule

Saturday, November 15
Spotlight & Giveaway at Passages to the Past
Sunday, November 16
Review at Library Educated
Monday, November 17
Review at Dianne Ascroft Blog
Review at Flashlight Commentary
Tuesday, November 18
Review at Oh, For the Hook of a Book!
Wednesday, November 19
Review at Just One More Chapter
Thursday, November 20
Review at Ageless Pages Reviews
Friday, November 21
Review & Interview at Bookish
Saturday, November 22
Review at History From a Woman’s Perspective
Monday, November 24
Review at A Bookish Affair
Review & Giveaway at Peeking Between the Pages
Tuesday, November 25
Guest Post at A Bookish Affair
Wednesday, November 26
Review at Book Nerd
Thursday, November 27
Interview at The Maiden’s Court
Saturday, November 29
Spotlight at What Is That Book About
Monday, December 1
Review at Layered Pages
Review & Interview at Casual Readers
Tuesday, December 2
Review at My Reader’s Block
Review at A Bibliotaph’s Reviews
Wednesday, December 3
Review at The Worm Hole
Review at Diary of an Eccentric
Thursday, December 4
Review at Beth’s Book Reviews
Guest Post at Historical Tapestry
Friday, December 5
Review at Bibliophilia, Please
Saturday, December 6
Review at Unshelfish
Review at Historical Tapestry

1 comment:

  1. I just finished this book and it's extremely well-written. The story itself was one I couldn't put down. Kudos to Davina Blake.