No Man's Land - G.S. Wiley 3 Hearts

Review written for MM Good Book Reviews

Henry and Jack shared a brief kiss in the trenches the night before Jack was to go ‘over the top’, it was the last time Henry saw Jack during the war. Eight years later Henry is a solicitor again, he is a widow and he has an adorable daughter but his years at war still haunt him. Henry meets Jack again by chance, Jack is now a balloon seller with an injury of his own and with his own nightmares that still linger, rekindling their friendship is hopeful but they both have a long way to go to recover from the war.

This is an interesting story of two men meeting in the trenches finding fleeting comfort during horrific times and then reconnecting years later. Henry is a solicitor who nearly lost his foot to trench rot during the war, even now he suffers from flashbacks and nightmares. For one of Henry’s cases he has to speak with an expert on shell shock and it just might help him to understand his friend Jack’s actions and his own difficulties. Jack made a choice he has to live with, but when he meets up with Henry again he has to confess and can only hope that Henry will forgive him.

Although I liked this story I thought that it was in the wrong collection, we do see some of Henry’s daughter and there is some interaction between father and daughter but there isn’t enough story surrounding them for it to really be a ‘family’ story. This is much more suited to an ex-military – suffering the after effects of war collection. I liked the trenches setting and the descriptions of what they were facing, I really liked the flash backs and how if affected Henry’s everyday life. G.S. Wiley certainly captured the truth of 1918 France and 1924 England with its harsh truths of how the troops and returning heroes were treated. The difficulties that Henry and Jack faced is stark and so is their hope of any semblance of a relationship, no matter how they might hope otherwise, but it is still something they will hope for.

I will recommend this if you love World War I, friendship, love, hope and a happy for now ending.