top of page

Tommy's War:

July 1914

Review by Idwal Daniel

in Family Tree Magazine, May 2019 issue

      I'd heard this novel was based on history and had a strong family history strain. Both things are true and there is indeed much for the family historian: 10 generations of the Green family are named; we learn that Green is probably an adopted name anyway; a crucial part of the story is the fate of the protagonist's descendants, and so on.

      There is far more to this book. The author has an intuitive mind and understands people; this shows particularly in the dialogue and actions (even at the level of characters' gestures) throughout.

     `Tommy Green' is diverted by the beautiful, though `unobtainable' girl of a higher social class, Mazod Betham. This is shown at the very beginning with the opening words: `She smiled at me. Yesterday, she smiled at me!' But events we now think of as milestones in history intervene. These flow naturally with the storyline and aren't a disguised history lesson. Whether this is through a chance meeting, or via the interactions of old friends, the characters are believable and not stereotypical.

      There is a wholly unexpected conclusion. The people, narrative and dialogue make for fascinating reading. The author writes tightly; there are no surplus lines. He is a master at drawing the reader into a world where the ordinary meets the extraordinary, right up to the ending where the central dilemma is addressed in a way that will surprise most.

Published by Benybont Books in paperback, RRP £9.99, and ebook, £2.99, from Amazon (https://familytreetommyswar) and elsewhere (ISBN: 9781916494268 / 9781916494251). Find out more at

Guest review by Idwal Daniels

Other reviews can be seen in various places around the internet, such as Goodreads

bottom of page