Friday, 24 July 2015

Wish Me Luck As You Wave Me Goodbye by Marius Gabriel

Reviewer: Gillian Hamer, author of The Charter, Closure, Complicit & Crimson Shore (

What we thought: This was the first novel I have read by Marius Gabriel, and I was instantly hooked by his writing style. This is a confident author, and his talent is evident in the effortless way he weaves the storyline around the characters and draws the reader along on their journey.

The novel embarks on the closely-woven stories of three sisters, connected by blood but very little else in terms of character and personality, initially set against the background of the Spanish Civil War before moving onto WWII in London.

Isobel is the eldest sister, and at the start of the novel she is fascinated by the Fascism movement, and finds herself, along with youngest sister Felicity, the youngest (set to enter a convent, at the age of nineteen) trapped in the middle of the civil war. They are rescued by an American serving with the International Brigades. The story-line then switches to London, where we discover the life of middle sister Chiara. As WWII progresses, the sisters are reunited, and the consequences have a massive effect on all of their lives.

The lives and loves of the three sisters intertwine against the backdrop of the historical drama being played out. The author’s attention to detail and quiet authority about the period are very clever, so much so that they blend into the background, so you are totally immersed in the time.

The book ends on a real cliff-hanger and came far too soon! I look forward eagerly to reading more about the life stories of the sisters … and discovering more books from this author.

You’ll enjoy this if you like: Amanda Hodgkinson, Sarah Waters, Freda Lightfoot.

Avoid if you don’t like: War time stories and family conflict.

Ideal accompaniments: Bully beef rations and G&Ts.

Genre: Historical Fiction.

Available on Amazon