It is 1914. As war engulfs the British Empire, Royal Navy gunner, George Royal awaits his next ship in his home port where his best friend has fallen in love with beautiful Carrie, a woman with secrets. When she is attracted to George, she brings the two men into conflict. Britain’s leadership is being severely tested – so the parallel story of a besotted Prime Minister reflects the realities of George’s war. Full of Historical Naval detail with a strong WW1 story line of changing social moralities.
Over by Christmas
by William Daysh
It is 1914. As war engulfs the British Empire, Royal Navy gunner, George Royal awaits his next ship in his home port where his best friend has fallen in love with beautiful Carrie, a woman with secrets.
100 in stock
P. Welch –
A thoroughly absorbing read
This is a wonderful historical novel from first time author William Daysh. He takes as his background the first 18 months or so of the First World War. His characters are drawn from different strata of society, some real, some fictional, but all are well drawn and believable, and their dialogue convincing. They are caught up in the sweep of international events and personal emotions, and we follow their fate in these dramatic and terrible months. In the upper echelons of society we follow the British prime Minister, Asquith, trying to come to terms with the demands of the war at the same time as his feelings are directed towards a much younger woman. Churchill is there too, `Jacky’ Fisher and Lloyd George. The impact their direction of the war has on ordinary men and women is seen as we follow the fates of a father and son, Jack and George Royal, in the Royal Navy. Through their eyes we experience dramatic action on the high seas as the dreadnoughts of the British and German Navies encounter each other, and in some of the fighting in the Dardanelles. The author is very good at describing the action, and the pace is fast and exciting. And tangled emotions are not the prerogative of the upper class. We see how the relationship between George Royal and his best friend Bill are affected by the arrival of the rather mysterious Carrie, a triangle that is only resolved near the end of the story, along with the revelation about Carrie’s past. This is a very well written book, pacy, easy to read, and it carries the reader along. The research for this book shows through, and also is the more convincing because of the author’s own naval service. As the characters are so believable the ending is a very convincing and satisfying one. Highly recommended.
Don Struke –
Brilliant story of love, political intrigue, and world war
At last, a magnificent work of romance and war by a British author who knows what he’s writing about. Ex-Royal Navy officer William Daysh has captured the sweep and vastness of World War One sea battles, when the English Navy was supreme and Germany was determined to destroy it. His wonderfully-described scenes of thunderous naval duels are counterpoint to a story of unrequited (or is it?) love between the British Prime Minister and the young Venetia Stanley, an emotionally-ripping affair that caught him just as Britain was going to war in 1914. From the book: “The direction of Britain’s war effort was…in the hands of decision makers wracked by divisive argument, led by a lovelorn Prime Minister plagued by emotional distractions.”
It is the story also of a young Royal Navy gunner coming of age through intense tragedy and his own journey through life, love, and heart-breaking loss. Daysh’s combat scenes on land and at sea are some of the very best I have ever read, the tender moments among the principals are lovely, and his gift for details and dialogue make “Over By Christmas” a splendid adventure. A grand tale such as this is the result of masterly talent and, without question, extensive research and dedication to crafting a terrific book. I won’t give away the surprising ending but I cannot wait for “OBC II”! It’s fun to imagine what actors will play which parts when “Over By Christmas” comes to the big screen, as it truly deserves.