None of Us the Same
Sweet Wine of Youth Book 1
by Jeffrey K. Walker
This title was previously available on NetGalley and is now archived.
Pub Date 15 May 2017 | Archive Date 17 Sep 2021
Fiery Deirdre Brannigan had opinions on everything. She certainly hated the very idea of war in 1914. Childhood pals Jack Oakley and Will Parsons thought it a grand adventure with their friends. But the crushing weight of her guilty conscience pushes Deirdre to leave Ireland and land directly in the fray. Meanwhile the five friends from Newfoundland blithely enlist. After all, the war couldn’t possibly last very long…
They learn quickly how wrong they are and each is torn apart by the carnage in France.
What began with enthusiastic dreams of parades and dances with handsome young soldiers turned into long days and nights in the hospital wards desperately trying to save lives. And for the good and decent young men in fine new uniforms aching to prove themselves worthy on the field of battle, the horrors of war quickly descended.
But it is also the war which brings them together. Deirdre’s path crosses with Jack and Will when they’re brought to her field hospital the first day of the slaughter on the Somme. Their lives part, their journeys forward fraught with physical and emotional scars tossing them through unexpected and often painful twists and turns. But somehow, a sliver of hope, love and redemption emerges. And their paths cross again in St. John’s.
When the guns finally fall silent, can Deirdre overcome her secret demons through a new life with battered Jack? Can shell-shocked Will confront his despotic father’s expectations to become the man his young family deserves?
A Note From the Publisher
"None of Us the Same is a story of heart, hope and heroes, a World War I novel with the feel of authenticity, as seen through the eyes of author Jeffrey K Walker's keenly drawn characters... This compelling story is impeccably researched and well-written, with rounded, likeable characters not afraid to show their humanity... It is no surprise that this novel has been nominated for a clutch of awards, and next book in the Sweet Wine of Youth trilogy is keenly anticipated."" -- Reviewer, Historical Novel Society.
"The author should be applauded for his great attention to detail in describing each scene. His descriptions were so vivid that you could almost smell the scents, and his writing was so engaging that at times it made the reader feel like they were in the story with the characters... [He] made the motivations of his characters very clear, there was no hiding what they wanted... His writing style is vivid, descriptive, true to his characters, and appealing."" --Judge, 25th Annual Writer's Digest Self-Published Book Awards."
Average rating from 10 members
I’ve read quite a few novels recently that in a way or another involve WWI and veterans from that war. None of Us the Same by Jeffrey Walker is the first one that truly rings authentic. It’s a very subtle line. It isn’t easy for me to say what it is that makes this story different, because also the other novels I’ve read were very well-researched. The different isn’t in the research itself, I believe, it’s more in the personal experience an author can put into their story. Jeffrey is a veteran himself, and this shows in many places, especially in the long section about the actual war. There is something very ‘normal’ about his war scenes, if this makes any sense. While the other novels I’ve read gave out a strong sense of the tragedy WWI had been, Jeffrey’s WWI has a flavour of everyday life. This is how millions of men and women lived everyday during that time. Sure, there were the big battles, but there were also the little things of life happening in the trenches. The war scene are my favourite. Of course they are very relevant on a narrative level, but they are also very important for connecting with these characters. And as I said, for me there was an extra level of authenticity to them. The rest of the novel deals with what the war left attached to every one of these characters. Interesting as it was, it wasn’t as involving as the war scenes (this is probably quite natural), and it was also quite episodic. Every episode was good, it let me come very near to the characters and I felt for all of them, but it was kind of isolated. Not really a problem, but I wonder whether a more organic plot would have enhanced the sense of belonging even further. It’s a good story, well researched, written with compassion and with relatable characters. I enjoyed it.
Well written and enjoyable. An unusual perspective of WW1 and all the better for that. Shocking how many of the Newfoundland brigade were injured or killed, but even for survivors and their families often the consequences of the war were terrible too. Highly recommend
Thanks netgalley for giving me a chance to read this. It’s a cracker of a book. Well written and it feels well researched. I felt the characters sang to me, I was really intrigued by them. Their stories were beautifully woven and just makes sense. I think it’s a great book for those of us who like historical fiction, especially during this time period.
One of the strongest antiwar books I have read. The author indicates that it was planned as the first of three books dealing with people caught up in the horrific battles of World War One. His incredible research is one of the many factors contributing to the draw of the situations confronting five characters that take part in the war and in so doing change their lives and outlooks forever. The first part of the book deals with the entrance of the world into a war that all thought would not last very long and drawing into it characters that were residents of Newfoundland in Canada. Prior to their enlistment an Irish lay nurse (trainee) volunteered to work at a hospital directly serving the British front. Deirdre Brannigan starting her career at a hospital in Ireland wanted to do more in her chosen profession left to aid the wounded of the war. The battles that the soldiers took part in were the landing at Gallipoli fighting the Turkish army with the accompaniment of mass slaughter and then against German troops at the Somme in France, with much more of the same death and horror. Deirdre, for her part, got her baptism of fire as men and sometimes parts of men that were victims of artillery and machine guns were brought into her hospital for treatment. She became emotionally traumatized at the sight of the human carnage that flowed through her workstation but was forced to carry on driven by the circumstances she found herself in. The men developed friendships that only the circumstances they found themselves in can cause to develop. One of them, seriously wounded met Deirdre and the two found love together. At the war's end all returning to home find a truism about war and combat. After battle, killing and fighting no one is ever the same again and it is almost impossible to return to the life lived prior to the war. It is almost the same as if many returning soldiers still have major wounds. Mr. Walker opens a description of men being "shell shocked" by exposure to constant killing and battle. The attitude at the time was that officers that suffered from this disease were telling the truth and were allowed to rest while enlisted men were simply lying to get out of combat and punished. It wasn't until later years that the condition was recognized as a genuine condition exacerbated by combat and treated as best as possible as PTSD (post traumatic stress disease). It is sure that this novel will stay with any reader and is again, one that cannot be put down until finished.
I am a bit of a sucker for a good Historical fiction and and I just loved this book. This is a very raw story of war, of friendships, hardships and coping in the aftermath. It is 'No holds barred' and tells it like it is. The characters are strong and believable, the history is all there and it took me right into the setting as if I too was a character, watching from the sidelines. It drew me in and kept me there throughout, making me feel for all those involved. I love this book and will even rad it again as with books like this I always find more when I read it a second time. Highly recommend and look forward to more from this great author.
Thank you to NetGalley and Ballybur Publishing for providing me a free copy in exchange for an honest review. None of Us the Same is impeccably researched and, as a reader and historian, I can say I truly appreciated the work that went into this book. The author included various people from different backgrounds as the characters of this book. This allowed the reader to experience how various people were effected by the Great War. The inclusion of VADs and nurses is something not done as often in historical fiction as should be. It was refreshing to see it done in None of Us the Same. One thing I adored about this book was the look at the aftermath of the War on those who served. Alcoholism and drug abuse is featured in this book but it’s done in a respectful way which faces the realities of so many people after the War. The insight into those who suffered as a result of the conflict was eye opening. I highly recommend None of Us the Same for any fans of historical fiction looking for a well researched and in depth look at the Great War and its aftermath.
Well developed characters, harsh, realistic prose, emotional provoking conversations. Walker gives us this and more in this well written debut novel. Long lasting friendships carry us through WWI along with the very descriptive woes of the war and how each character makes it through. Very much enjoyed this novel and looking forward to the next by this very talented author.
The story is written during World War I when five friends go off to war. They all deal with loss of life during the war as well as other related changes to their lives including relocation due to the war. They all experience the grief of war in one way or another but maintain their friendships. It looks at war from other angles and holds your interest as the journey of each is followed.