Today marks a month until the publication of Emma Carroll’s, ‘When We Were Warriors,’ a glorious short story collection set during the Second World War. Following on from the success of the marvellous, ‘Letters From the Lighthouse,’ Emma once again captures the war from the viewpoint of different children following their experiences in the summer of 1942. In ‘The Night Visitors,’ we return to a familiar place when Stanley is evacuated to a remote grand, old house called Frost Hollow Hall. Ghosts from the past are disturbed when a game of dares gets out of hand. ‘Olive’s Army,’ takes us back to Budmouth Point not long after when ‘Letters From the Lighthouse,’ left us, with news of a surprising engagement. But when Ephrahim is wrongly accused of a terrible crime after a body is washed up on a beach it’s up to Olive and her friends to prove his innocence and save the day. Velvet is frustrated by her inability to help the war effort in ‘Operation Greyhound,’ her wish to be useful is put to the test when a new air-raid warden bans pets putting all their lives at risk. Can Velvet find a way to protect them and make a real difference during this challenging time.
Emma cleverly weaves together all three stories with a unifying element. You won’t find any spoilers here but I will say you really need to read them in order to appreciate how they all work together. For me reading Emma’s writing is like coming home, it is always a true joy to be surrounded by her words again. ‘When We Were Warriors,’ is an absolute triumph from start to finish. Emma’s characterisation is just exceptional, she has the ability to create characters that you truly care about and that is a mark of a truly excellent writer. She skilfully touches your soul when she writes, it’s a true privilege stepping into her characters lives and to feel their emotions so deeply. This collection is everything I wanted and expected it to be, I can’t recommend it enough.
I am delighted to share with you an exclusive extract of ‘When We Were Warriors,’ on the blog today. Click on the link below to read the first two chapters.
Thank you to Emma, Sarah and Faber for inviting me to host this exclusive extract. ‘When We Were Warriors,’ is released on February 7th and is available to pre-order online or from any good bookshop.