When shepherd.com invited Eden Park Publishing author Michael Tappenden to provide a shortlist of the books that had inspired him to write Pegasus to Paradise, the result was a quite remarkable collection.
All Quiet on the Western Front -
Erich Maria Remarque, Arthur Wesley Wheen (translator)
The Cruel Sea - Nicholas Monsarrat
The Jacaranda Tree -
No Ordinary Pilot: One Young Man’s Extraordinary Exploits in World War II -
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society -
Mary Ann Shaffer, Annie Barrows
To read Michael's reviews of these books, click the following link:
Introducing himself to the ever-growing, book-savvy readership of shepherd.com, Michael wrote, 'The best war novels look beyond glory and victory to show the awful impact on the individual regardless of nationality.'
'On D-Day 1944, three gliders carrying elite British soldiers landed to capture and hold the vital Pegasus Bridge. In the first glider to land was my father, Ted Tappenden. Ted was one of several close relatives who served with distinction in WW2 including a naval officer and two fighter pilots. It was then no surprise when instead of following my grammar school direction to University, I volunteered instead to serve with the Parachute Regiment (my degree came later). My close connection with the military allowed me an insight into both the physical and mental strain and the awful consequences that might afflict those who serve and their nearest and dearest.'
Early hours 6th June 1944. An elite British glider-borne force successfully captures vital bridges in the first Allied assault of D-Day, the beginning of a long bloody slog across Europe. Few survive the war but one, Ted ‘Ham and Jam’ Tappenden, returns home apparently unscathed, and tries to settle into mundane life with his wife and family, but is haunted by the terrors of battle. Florrie is so relieved, but soon sees a distance in her husband, where once there was joy and passion. Neither can explain their suffering to anyone, least of all to each other.
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