REVIEW: On Wings of Song – Anne Barwell

On Wings of Song - Anne Barwell

Genre: Historical, Romance

LGBTQ+ Category: MM Gay

Reviewer: Maryann

Get It On Amazon

About The Book

A chance meeting they never forgot.

Six years after meeting British soldier Aiden Foster during the Christmas Truce of 1914, Jochen Weber still finds himself thinking about Aiden, their shared conversation about literature, and Aiden’s beautiful singing voice. A visit to London gives Jochen the opportunity to search for Aiden, but he’s shocked at what he finds.

The uniform button Jochen gave him is the only thing Aiden has left of the past he’s lost. The war and its aftermath ripped everything away from him, including his family and his music. When Jochen reappears in his life, Aiden enjoys their growing friendship but knows he has nothing to offer. Not anymore.

The Review

War is a deeply distressing time for any man, especially when he’s are barely twenty years old. During War World I in 1914, a brief truce at Christmastime brings German soldier, Jochen Weberand British soldier, Aiden Foster, together.   In a very short time, they develop a friendship and find that they aren’t as awful as they were lead to believe.  They also find they have books, music and theatre in common.  In respect for their fallen brethren, a ceremony is held, and Jochen is mesmerized by Aiden’s beautiful voice.  When the truce comes to an end, Jochen and Aiden trade a button from their uniforms.  

Even though they hoped to be home for the next Christmas, it failed to happen, and the war continued on for several years.

 As if what Aiden and Jochen had to face in war wasn’t traumatic enough, returning home was just as bad. With the Armistice of November 1918, many had to face the heart breaking influenza epidemic of 1918, losing family members and friends to the pandemic.

Jochen never forgot about Aiden, his beautiful voice and the buttons they exchanged. If it wasn’t for the memory of Aiden, he might not have gotten through the war. While visiting London, he decides to search for Aiden.

Aiden is struggling with his own issues and feels useless, like he has nothing to offer, not even to Jochen. After avoiding Jochen many times, Aiden finally agrees to meet him. With both men dealing with the war’s after affects, the gradual connection they make leaves them anxious. Can they work through these feelings, and will advice from others help them toward a new beginning?

Anne Barwell never fails to entertain. She brings the reality of war to the forefront, along with the struggles of both Jochen and Aiden. Against the backdrop of war and the prejudice that existed at that time, she brings caring, love and romance to two amazing characters in Jochen and Aiden.  There are several great secondary characters too – Emily, Mrs. Hamilton and Jack.

Barwell always does her research.  “On Wings of Song” put’s me in mind of  the “Echoes Rising” series, which she is re-editing, and I’m eager to do a re-visit to that series too! 

The Reviewer

Anne Barwell lives in Wellington, New Zealand.  She shares her home with Kaylee: a cat with “tortitude” who is convinced that the house is run to suit her. To date it appears Kaylee may be winning the discussion.

In 2008, Anne completed her conjoint BA in English Literature and Music/Bachelor of Teaching. She has worked as a music teacher, a primary school teacher, and now works in a library. She is a member of the Upper Hutt Science Fiction Club and plays violin for Hutt Valley Orchestra.

She is an avid reader across a wide range of genres and a watcher of far too many TV series and movies, although it can be argued that there is no such thing as “too many.” These, of course, are best enjoyed with a decent cup of tea and further the continuing argument that the concept of “spare time” is really just a myth. She also hosts and reviews for other authors, and writes monthly blog posts for Love Bytes.  She is the co-founder of the New Zealand Rainbow Romance writers, and a member of RWNZ.

Anne’s books have received honourable mentions five times, reached the finals four times—one of which was for best gay book—and been a runner up in the Rainbow Awards.  She has also been nominated twice in the Goodreads M/M Romance Reader’s Choice Awards—once for Best Fantasy and once for Best Historical.

 

2 thoughts on “REVIEW: On Wings of Song – Anne Barwell”

Leave a Comment