- Posted October 22, 2013 by
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New Historical Fiction Novel Portrays Trauma, Survival and the Power of Love in Post World War II Britain.
Based on a true story.
International author, Michael Tappenden is pleased to announce the release of his new historical fiction novel, Pegasus to Paradise.
At times dark and disturbing but also overflowing with warmth and humour, Pegasus to Paradise is not simply a poignant family album of times past but a rich social history of 20th century England; a sensitive commentary on wartime stoicism and duty and of the post-war culture in the suburbs of South London and North Kent and an enlightening portrait of the demands of mental illness – conditions now recognised and better understood as post traumatic stress disorder and bi-polar disorder.
The semi-fictionalised characters – sympathetically embellished versions of the author’s parents and their neighbours – come to life as we witness a story of promise and love through the tranquil lens of the 1930s, a story that changes into enforced separation, survival and heroism during World War II and of the war’s devastating legacy that festers behind the veneer of assumed obligation for the rest of their lives.
The relentless cultural upheaval through the fifties and sixties provides the backdrop for many evocative vignettes of urban and rural life, illustrating the great strengths of duty, family and neighbourliness of that time. Qualities that now we are anxious to return to. But viewed through the soft focus of nostalgia, it’s easy to forget that at times such qualities often come to the fore through extreme adversity.
The central character fills the pages with her acts of eccentricity and sense of fun but behind the facade is an increasingly tormented soul who wants the world to stay as it was, longs to blot out the horrors and have back the young man she married before the devastating experiences of battle brought home somebody she no longer recognised. But if Florrie is centre-stage, a place where she feels happiest, then her husband Ted is one of life’s great cheerleaders. Thrust unprepared into the limelight of wartime heroism that he simply considered to be his duty but which could also fill him with a battered pride, he was thereafter destined to take a supporting role in the drama that was Florrie. But it is his story that adds further weight – his unrelenting sense of duty, honour and loyalty that on one level overcame so much but on another stifled and suppressed so much more. Florrie was right to think that Ted left something behind when he came back from war. He lost his potential and spent the rest of his life, often against his better judgement, trying to help his wife achieve hers.
It is a bitter irony that their qualities of courage, duty and determination that won the war could be rewarded by such difficulties in the peace – problems encountered in every conflict before and since. But will the power of their love overcome these problems?
There is a diverse audience for this glimpse back into a better time and not just those who can remember the baker’s van, the travelling knife sharpener, the horse-drawn rag and bone cart and the ghostly black footprints of the coalman down the garden path.
Pegasus to Paradise is available in print and eBook format.
Further reviews can be found at http://www.amazon.co.uk
Pegasus to Paradise
Author: Michael Tappenden
Publisher: Acorn Independent Press UK
Published: 6 June 2013
Genre: Historical Fiction/Women’s Fiction
About the Author:
Michael Tappenden attended Sir Joseph Williamson’s Mathematical Grammar School in Rochester, England. He achieved post-graduate qualifications, became a member of the Chartered Society of Designers and Principal Lecturer at the University for the Creative Arts. This might seem to be a fairly normal career path but between the first and last he also worked as a grave digger, gardener and labourer with a gang of Irish workers. He also served with the Parachute Regiment of the British Army in the deserts of the Middle East and as part of the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in a civil war in Cyprus. In addition he continued a career as a graphic designer in London as well as working as an interior designer and photographer.
The reason behind this robust CV probably lies with his father Ted ‘Ham and Jam’ Tappenden who at sixteen minutes past midnight on 6th June 1944, climbed from the wreckage of a Horsa glider, behind enemy lines, to successfully attack and capture Pegasus Bridge. The first Allied action of D-Day and vital to its success.
For more information, review copies or interviews please contact the author at: