When We Were Warriors by Emma Carroll


Cover illustration by Julian De Narvaez

Fans of the Queen Of Historical Fiction are in for a real treat as three short stories are woven together amidst the air raids of World War 2 during the summer of 1942…

The Night Visitors

Stanley and his sisters are just off to get tea when their lives are turned upside down, an event which leads to children of Pavillion Street, Bristol being evacuated to the Somerset countryside, and find themselves at the imposingly grand Frost Hollow Hall…

Olive’s Army

We return to Budmouth Point, and it’s inhabitants, shortly after we left them in Letters From The Lighthouse. A train full of American GI’s arrive shortly before Olive and Cliff discover a body on the beach, carrying letters for Ephraim, the Lighthouse keeper. Can they unravel the identity of the mystery man before it’s too late?

Operation Greyhound

Velvet is used to looking after herself because of her mum’s job as a firewatcher, putting out incendiaries dropped by German planes. When their Shelter Warden changes, pets are banned, and Velvet, with the help of her friends, must find a way to keep them safe.

Emma’s evocative and emotive writing brings the children living in the South West during World War II to life in three very different situations. Deftly weaving in aspects from two earlier books, I was transported straight back to Frost Hollow Hall and Letters From The Lighthouse, and delighted in being reacquainted with some of the characters.

The children all have their own unique voices and ways of coping with the horrors of war that affect their lives. Emma packs suspense into each short story, cranking up the tension with each turn of the page, while seamlessly dropping historical terminology into the text, which is bound to inspire further investigation in the historically minded. To enjoy these short stories at their very best, read them in order, as elements from each are built upon in the next.

When We Were Warriors is a joy to read, and one that I will be recommending highly. Just brilliant!


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