After the Storm, Margaret Graham

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A captivating and heartwarming story of love and loss in a time of war and its aftermath. Previously published as Only The Wind is Free.Born into hardship in a Northumbrian mining village, Annie Manon needs all her strength to survive the bleak years following the First World War.

As her family fractures around her, she longs to make something of her life.

Through hard work and determination Annie eventually leaves the poverty and despair of her childhood behind her. But then war breaks out once more, taking her further away from her dreams and those she loves most.

And it is all Annie can do to keep hope alive…

Publisher:  Arrow Books, August 2013

Reviewer:  Klaudia Khan

It’s a great book to enjoy with a cup of tea during long winter evenings. It tells a story of a young woman from a mining village in the North during the first decades of the 20th century.

We first meet her sitting on a beach and recollecting the images of her home town… And then we are transferred to the time and place of her childhood and learn the story of her life, her tragedies, her happy moments, her successes and her lost battles. The story is engaging and with a detailed background – it lets the reader sink deep into the atmosphere of different time and space.

Annie Manon has a strong character from the very beginning and many lessons to learn as time passes by. Well-drawn characters of other persons in the drama let us sympathise with them and the message of unwavering hope keeps our spirit uplifted through the book. The life that Annie Manon was born into – is long gone. There are no more mining villages, nor the threat of the world war lingering in the air – but the choices she is faced with and the decisions she has to make are certainly never outdated.

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