The Village

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 29 Mar 2019

Member Reviews

I really enjoyed this book as I find stories about the second world war and the resistance so interesting. This one is set on the island of Crete and gives a good background history of events before the war. The story is presented from three different perspectives so adding to the story. This aspect enhances and adds depths to the book. You cannot help but admire those unfortunate people who had to live through the most awful experiences, their bravery is undeniable.  The author gets you to care about the characters so it hooks you in. I really enjoyed the depth of characterisation, the vivid descriptions and the most human element of this book. Thanks to Netgalley for a chance to read and review it.
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A very well researched novel about wartime Crete. This taught me a lot about something I knew little about. It was interesting to see events from different perspectives
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Princess Fuzzypants here:  This is a moving story based on fact of the invasion of Crete by the Nazis in 1941.  It is told from multiple points of view.  There are the viewpoints, not always in lock step, of the local Cretans.  They might have conflicting political opinions but they are in agreement: they must fight this invasion with every means possible.  
Then there are the viewpoints of the British and Commonwealth soldiers who try to defend the island and its inhabitants, the primary voice being a young Tommy from Liverpool.  There are the German voices too, with a young paratrooper providing the lead.  He begins his journey in naively believing wholeheartedly in the Nazi tenets.  What he witnesses first hand of war begins to peel away his fantasies.  But when he must partake in brutality and massacres of innocent people,  it calls into question his entire value system.  Dieter and Paul the two opposing protagonists each go through harrowing experiences and meet, as we suspect they must, in a most unusual situation.  It changes both of them forever.
It is disturbing to read the atrocities that were perpetrated on the locals during the war.  Crete was certainly not alone in it’s suffering.  Yet there is great humanity in the grandmother and the child and the soldiers who did not become barbarians.  The ending of the story, many years later, left me uneasy.  I could understand the motivation nevertheless.  Perhaps the author felt there was no other end possible.
This is not a light easy book to read but it is well done and thought provoking.
I give it four purrs and two paws up.
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This is a really wonderful work of historical fiction. The story is riveting, the setting is vivid, and the characters are realistic. It was a very satisfying read. 

On Crete during WWII, the Cretans along with the English and New Zealanders fought the invasion of the Germans. The backstories of the Cretan families as well as those of the English soldier, Paul, and the German soldier, Dieter, made for fascinating reading.  I am grateful to know about yet another part of WWII that I was unaware. 

This ebook was provided by NetGalley in return for an unbiased review.
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I note that there are many 4-5 star reviews for Duke’s story but unfortunately it wasn’t for me. I found it a bit slow to start which isn’t a huge problem, but and by 35% in I was frustrated by the frequent use of the ‘f’ word, though I understand it was part of the character portrayals. I would have preferred more use of description and less dialogue.  I also found the atrocities of the first battle encounter on the island to be a bit too graphic for me. The descriptions weren’t extensive, just too blunt and gory for me, perhaps my imagination is just a little too ripe. As I say, plenty of good reviews to oppose mine, and I would like to thank Netgalley and publisher for the opportunity to offer my honest opinions on this digital copy.
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Yet again I would like to thank NetGalley for providing me with a Kindle version of this book to read and honestly review.
The battle of Crete began in the 20th of May 1941 and I have to admit is something I knew very little about, and whilst a work of fiction, the Author has obviously thoroughly researched. The result is an highly entertaining and very well written book. Told from numerous perspectives, by a totally believable group of characters, who draw you into their lives completely. At times brutal and violent at others loving moving and poignant a story of courage and hardship and heartily recommended.
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I received an advanced digital copy of this book from Netgalley.com and the publisher. Thanks to both for the opportunity to read and review.

Fans of WWII historical fiction will enjoy this novel. Well written and descriptive without becoming dull. Mr. Duke has a definite "Books to Read of 2019" list member with 'The Village'.

4 out of 5 stars. Highly recommended.
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Overall this was really great historical fiction writing. I have considered myself a student and scholar of World War II history for most of my adult life, and this is a perspective and scope of the war that isn’t that well known to the general reader of history. The Cretan population offered up a fierce resistance to German occupation, and as a result they suffered gravely for it. This book tells the story of Crete and it’s people, but it does way more than that. It speaks about human connection and horrific reality of warfare. It also provides multiple perspectives of the event from different sides of the engagement:German, Cretan, and British. From what I could tell, the majority of the main characters were fabricated by the author to tell the story in a fictional way. However, all of the main plot lines of the story are inspired by the real events and people who lived through them (or perished) throughout the Cretan episode of the war. It was well researched and the story flowed relatively well.
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I always have high hopes for military historical fiction. This was not finished because the dialogue was stilted a very detailed to the point of boring. Even after a quarter of the book was done there still was no action/invasion/fighting. The invasion of Crete is certainly a good subject matter but the story could be improved by a little tightening of the writing.
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The Village is an historical fiction book set in Crete during World War II. It is told from the viewpoint of four central characters. As a fan of books set during this time period, I found this book enjoyable and very different from other books on the market. The plot is interesting and moves at a great pace, keeping the interest of the reader. I really enjoyed how the story was told from four very different view points. I would recommend this book to historical fiction lovers.

Thanks to NetGalley and the publishers for this ARC..
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I found this book a bit hard to get into initially, it seemed to lack direction but after about the first quarter the characters found purpose and the plot really kicked in and the book became a lot more enjoyable. The copy I recieved could've done with a bit more proof reading and basic formatting but these didnt really subtract from the story much. The biggest downfall with this book to me was that at times the dialogue felt quite forced and unrealistic. 
Overall the story has a great premise, just needs some further editing and revising.
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War stories are always poignant with the people of those times struggling through something they could never prepare for.
This one was one such.
I found it well paced and interesting.
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A really good well written book about the island of Crete during World War 2. This is a part of World War 2 that I knew very little about. This is an insightful and intriguing read.

Thank you to Netgalley for my copy.
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This is a WWII story of the invasion of the island of Crete. I really enjoyed the way this story is told, it is told from three different views, from a few of the citizens of the island, then from a young German soldier and from a New Zealand English soldier. I have read a lot of WWII books and this was the first one that I have read covering this arena. 
I found the story very well written and was drawn into caring for all of the characters. It was enlightening to learn the background, it helped to understand their thoughts and feelings towards the war and how it affected them. Once again, it shows how the Germans were despicable and the horrors and atrocities of war that affected so many lives of innocent civilians  
I would recommend this book to any historical fiction reader. I was given an advanced copy from John Hunt Publishing Ltd, Top Hat Books through Net Galley for my honest review, this one gets 4****’s.
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The Village is a fictional account of a very real part of WW2 that we don’t often hear about. Crete is the largest Greek island, located in the Mediterranean Sea with a colorful and often harsh history, having been invaded by Romans, Greeks, Turks, Germans... The Village is the story of the German invasion of Crete in 1941.

Anastasia and her husband, son and granddaughter live in the village of Ayios Stefanos, situated above the coastline; Paul Cuthbertson is a British artillery soldier, and Dieter Lehmann is a German paratrooper. All of their lives become entwined in ways that none of them would expect. When the German paratroopers first invade the island they are met with fierce defense from the British, New Zealand, and Cretan forces, but once they take control of the airstrip they effectively are able to take over the island. However, the Cretan Resistance doesn’t back down, and in turn the German forces dole out some horrific punishments on the general population. While The Village is fiction, the author Philip Duke based it on fact, and many of the events in the book are quite real.

I was a bit thrown off at first, as the author skips between scenes without much transition (and between characters too a bit further on) but about 30 pages in I suddenly realized I was hooked and couldn’t put the book down! I enjoyed how the author attempted to maintain humanity in all of the main characters, despite the atrocities committed. There are lots of graphic descriptions of battles and massacres, which are not for the faint of heart, but there are also some beautiful descriptions of the island and Cretan people in general. This creates a special balance, where the reader imagines the contrast between the brutality of war, and the timelessness of the island’s beauty.

There were a few things that I wasn’t too sure about (the end is a little predictable for example), but all in all this was a great read, especially because the author does not romanticize war in the way that many writers do when creating stories about WW2, and also because the battle of Crete is one we don’t read about very often. It appears that the author has written another novel on the island, and I’m intrigued to read this one now too!
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The battle of Crete

The author presents a simply told story involving three soldiers in the wartime Battle of Crete, a working class English Tommy, a fiercely Nazi German paratrooper and a Cretan partisan. Allied incompetence, individual courage, the suffering of innocents, the qualms of conscience all figure in the tale. The style is clear and without artifice, but the story is quite powerful and takes a number of unexpected turns, culminating in a present day act of revenge, as pointless as the deaths and violence of the war years.
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What a thoughtful, engaging story! It was very insightful and well written. I will keep this author in mind for the future!
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The story of the invasion of Crete during WW2 from the perspective of the islanders and soldiers from both sides depicts the suffering and brutality of the war. The book was based on real events which took place on the island which today is such a popular holiday destination. A very human and tragic tale and a must read for those interested in the events of the period.
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This book is about the island of Crete during World War 2.  Characters are well developed and I enjoyed plot.  It's a fast paced book.
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The Village is a story of WWII. The setting is Crete. I haven't read anything about Crete before. It's a story of brave people in a terrible situation. They are survivors. It's a good read that unfolds at a good pace. You will want to keep reading until the end. Thanks to NetGalley for an arc in exchange for an honest review.
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