Book: Intrusion: WWII, two boys, a fateful rivalry (A Relative Invasion Book 1) by Rosalind Minettcategories: Book, Cossack Sabre, Suburban Childhood, 1940s, Wartime, Home Front, Resilience, Rivalry, World War Two, Evacuation, Foster Home, Emotional Deprivation, Bullying, Phoney War, Historical Fiction
Rosalind Minettabout this book: The readership of this book ranges from Young Adult to pensioners. It falls into the genres of psychological fiction and historical fiction. The writing does not aim to shock or titillate, but to involve the reader in the day-to-day stresses of a South London family, in particular, Billy, who is five at the beginning of the tale, and in his twenties by the end.
Parenting is very different today than in the forties. Children were not listened to, nor were events explained. Bullying was ignored. Add to that the anxiety of Hitler's territorial invasions, then the trauma of evacuation of children to strangers, and finally world war with bombing.
In my trilogy, A Relative Invasion, the focus is upon the rivalry between two young boys. The protagonist, Billy, is sturdy and well-meaning. His cousin is frail, artistic and manipulative. While the adults worry about Hitler's invasions, young Billy faces personal invasions by Kenneth. Moreover, he is bullied by Kenneth's father, the bombastic Uncle Frank, and emotionally ignored by Mother, who never really wanted children. She is kept in check by Billy's father and his frequent quotations.
Book One, Intrusion, covers the period of anxiety, 1937 to 1939 and the first year of war, the phoney war, as it was called. It ends as bombs fall and Billy is evacuated for the second time, to a second set of strangers.
There is one thing that helps Billy through all the hardships: the Cossack sabre. It belongs to his father's work colleague, a man who befriends Billy and whose wife and daughter make him welcome. The sabre so captures Billy's imagination, that he fantasises about owning it and its power. This icon acts as a secret support in times of trouble.
But the fearsome sabre can destroy as well as protect.
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