#ThrowbackThursday ~ Pattern of Shadows by Judith Barrow #HistoricalFiction @judithbarrow77

Renee at It’s Book Talk began this meme as a way to share old favourites, as well as books that were published over a year ago. Not to mention those that are languishing on the to be read pile for whatever reason.

This week I’m revisiting the first in a fabulous historical fiction trilogy by Judith Barrow, although there have been two more books published to compliment the series. Pattern of Shadows is set during WWII and was published in 2010.

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Changing Patterns

  • ChangingPatternsAuthor: Judith Barrow
  • Published: May 2013 by Honno Press
  • Category: Historical Fiction
  • five-stars

In May 1950, Britain is struggling with the hardships of rationing and the aftermath of the Second World War. Peter Schormann, a German ex-prisoner of war, has left his home country to be with Mary Howarth, matron of a small hospital in Wales. The two met when Mary was a nurse at the POW camp hospital. They intend to marry, but the memory of Frank Shuttleworth, an ex-boyfriend of Mary’s, continues to haunt them and there are many obstacles in the way of their happiness, not the least of which is Mary’s troubled family. When tragedy strikes, Mary hopes it will unite her siblings, but it is only when a child disappears that the whole family pulls together to save one of their own from a common enemy.

Changing Patterns continues the story of Mary Howarth and her family in the post WWII years. At the close of Pattern of Shadows, Mary, her brother Tom and their mother had moved from Ashford in the North of England, to Wales. Mary believed her ill-fated liaison with the German doctor and POW Peter Schormann was over until he turned up on her doorstep five years later. The war may be over but prejudice and danger still linger on, even in a small Welsh village. Continue reading

Pattern Of Shadows

  • PatternAuthor: Judith Barrow
  • Published: May 2010 by Honno Press
  • Category: Historical Fiction
  • four-half-stars

Mary is a nurse at a Lancashire POW camp. Life at work is difficult but fulfilling. Soon, she meets Frank, a guard who has been watching her for weeks. But Frank is difficult to love and it’s not long before Mary decides to break it off. Matters come to a head when Frank puts two and two together and realises that Mary is about to embark on an affair with one of the camp’s German doctors. Frank is not the kind of man who will take no for an answer and pretty soon, Mary’s secret threatens to destroy not just her happiness, but her life itself.

Pattern of Shadows revolves around the working class Howarth family, particularly Mary who is a nurse at a prisoner of war camp hospital in Lancashire. She is dedicated to, and loves, her job. Home life is another matter entirely. Her father is angry and bitter after his experiences in the First World War, embarrassed and furious at Mary’s brothers. Tom is imprisoned in Wormwood Scrubs for being a conscientious objector and Patrick, a Bevin Boy, forced to work in the mines instead of fighting on the front line and threatening to strike. Ellen, Mary’s sister, is only concerned with her own life and having a good time. And in the middle of all this is Winifred, Mary’s mother, who bears the brunt of her husband’s aggressiveness and violent temper.  Continue reading