No Man’s Land by Simon Tolkien. Published by Doubleday

Yes, the author is THAT Tolkien, the grandson of J.R.R. Tolkien and he proves literary talent runs in the family. Here he bases his novel on the experiences of his very famous grandfather before and during the First World War. Adam Paine and his father flee London after the death of Adam’s mother to take coal mining jobs in Scarsdale at the turn of the last century. Through a series of events, Adam is taken in by the Scarsdale family and despite patent dislike from Brice, the Sacrdale’s son, he does well enough to earn a scholarship to Oxford. He also meets a young woman and falls in love, but just as his life is coming together, the country is pulled into the greatest conflict the world has ever seen.  I really enjoyed this book, it put me in mind of some of Barbara Taylor Bradford’s earlier novels and will be enjoyed  by fans of Downton Abbey

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