An intricate tale of love, triumph and tragedy
Nothing is as it seems among passengers on the New Zealand Star’s voyage to England via Cape Town. Colonel Newton’s impotency resides in another when portraying to enigmatic widow, Nancyng Jenkins, his role as emissary to a dying woman, while she masks a torrid life of devious subterfuge mingled with unspeakable horror.
Both encounter reinstatement in each other, yet suspicion persists when, into this milieu, sashays young heiress, Henrietta, abused, capricious and lost. Her deadly secrets will ensure a prolonged sojourn in Port Elizabeth for some of the passengers.
Fate intervenes when High Commissioner Sir Gerald Templer recalls Newton to the cauldron of Malaya, the quarry being most-wanted terrorist, The Huntsman. But what schemes might Scarfino have afoot in cultivating Newton’s extrovert aide, Tommy?
With the past casting long shadows that can no longer be hidden, does Mrs Jenkins hold the key to Newton’s redemption, the completion of his mission and her own freedom or will history repeat itself ensnaring both?
“Words from the mists of the early Twentieth Century and on through the years, settle sagaciously on the pages of A.C. Smith’s latest novel, The English Colonel’s Wives. It is a satirical work of extraordinary proportions, filled with metaphors, alliteration and language that reflect ages past: “…ornamenting those black clouds like a string of pearls”. The words read as poetry. The story is told through the dialogue of the main characters, and just when you think you have the measure of the story, you are thrown for a six. Colonel Newton, the lead character, expresses his thoughts on this when relating an incident to Nancyng: “Anything you come up with is best consigned to posterity, if only to appreciate how wrong you will be.”
From its craggy facade, its stones, its angles, its apertures and its chiselled shapes, Magnus Hall was submissive to an appearance of having been fashioned and rough-hewn by ancient Cornish fishermen who viewed the position both as a lighthouse to guide their craft into port and a weathervane from which to determine if the sea might accommodate the search for a bountiful catch.
Why an old soldier more accustomed to the sweaty confines of Singapore and Malaya was desirous of possessing such a two-storey amalgam plonked atop a cliff abutting the bracing and exposed coastline to others might have required more than hasty impressions to yield a solution. Not so the third Mrs Newton, who no sooner began her survey than she understood. The nub of that conundrum lay in aligning the dwelling with the Colonel’s nascent attachment to assuming a future with his new wife not just remote from all to which he and she were used but unlike any they had ever experienced.
Walking its parallel rock-walled boundaries that dovetailed into a rear hedgerow, an eclectic atmosphere clung to her as she zigzagged the area. The afternoon air, buoyant in sweet and salty vapours, was invigorating, the grounds grooming with potential and, when she scraped at the earth beneath her feet, she glimpsed rich black loam. Yet she also had to be watchful, being importuned into adopting tremulous, tiptoeing movements to minimise the bulbous-orbed attentions of a cantankerous heifer whose elaborate horns rose and fell like a pitchfork when the animal jerked its head disapprovingly.
Mrs Newton saw prudence in steering towards an enclosed yard. Therein, the only structures consisted of a cobwebbed milking bale, shed and adjoining henhouse. She scrambled over wire netting, through the detritus of a vegetable garden showcasing briars and thistles, and still the brooding beast stalked her. Agitation reaching fever level, a series of trumpeting bellows were followed by high leaps where she thrust her back legs in Mrs Newton’s direction as if poised to deliver a final ultimatum. Gaining safety by sliding through the bars of a bolted cattle gate to a cobbled driveway, she found her nemesis positioned so as to announce that there should be no resumption of the trespass.
Their eyes met and, refusing to flinch, she called out in her sternest voice, ‘Who the hell do you think you are, little minx?’ a demand that only a mistress dare make. After a morbid stand-off, the quadruped blinked. ‘Now, off with you and don’t carry on like that with me ever again! Do you understand?’ Bested, though not entirely divorced from second thoughts, there followed a gradual lowering of the Jersey’s head. From that day on, she accepted her place and would form a lifelong bond with the only person who had ever put her in it.
Back at the scoured shores, the Atlantic south-westerly flow freshened, caressing her collar-length hair and pinching at her cheeks. The new lady of the Hall viewed several outward-bound fishing craft pitching their colours against a blue-green and white-capped canvas as they advanced to the banks renowned for prawns and fish. She leaned reflectively against the mossy, oaken table, comfort drawn from the durable creaking telling her that it had weathered the salty mists and thick, trembling rain of almost as many seasons as the dwelling itself. Illimitably beyond the boats, a Celtic curtain shimmered more days of the year than any other patch of water surrounding the British Isles.
He was now beside her, their arms interlocked, and they forged a silent contentment words couldn’t adequately calibrate. It was an outward demonstration for each of being certain in the knowledge that no better place than this would occupy the rest of their days.
Then came the first twilight, wind and wave piping its tranquil music, inspiring forgiven memories of all that had gone before. Spring hadn’t banished its predecessor, content to surround the more darkness fell. She lit his pipe first before insisting on firing the hearth in their cosy lounge, turning aside with a serene kiss an offer of assistance. Soon the air was perfumed by the wood-burning combination of pear and ash and, not to be kept idle meanwhile, adjusting the combustion stove was her next challenge to perfect its function towards a lengthy browning of roast beef and potatoes to be followed by steamed duff and custard.
Mrs Newton wanted nothing more than this hearth to be a place for him to read, think, study, perhaps even write, as he had always promised to do. Beyond making its interior a joy to enfold him, she was determined to nurture, expand, diversify and mould the gardens as she deemed fit and welcome visits from son, daughter, families and grandchildren.
So began their lives together. Over time, she took to the land, fashioning and shaping it. Behind the Hall’s shed and bale they had fenced off a yard that now hosted a bevy of Sussex hens and one indomitable rooster. Nearby, white ducks, left in the wake of an enormous speckled black drake, seemed intent on navigating every cranny of the spring-fed pond searching for titbits.
Here lay an acre and a half of some of the most productive country on England’s south-western coast. She had assayed that the grounds would sustain more than enough year-round emerald pasture for the cow, now with calf at heel. That pernickety fixture had taken new-found motherhood to extremes, becoming matron superior to the ducks, chooks and all forms of friendly animal life that happened to populate her territory, and woe betide any creature that she deemed unacceptable venturing therein. Foxes learned rather quickly at the points of her horns that there was but one upshot in any attempted poultry raid. The Jersey suffered none save the woman’s hands to work its teats morning and afternoon. She cropped the grass assiduously and maintained it six inches above carpet level until the poddy was weaned and began to chime in so as to even it altogether.
There was always more than enough to provide the house with the milk and cream that lay the foundations for butter and cheese, soon to become culinary specialities of the adjacent village. And to complete their ecological functions, Pixie and Polly, the names given to cow and progeny respectively, deposited more than sufficient effluent for a market garden that supplied the couple and local families with vegetables.
Affording her husband a length-of-the-strait start in innate experience of English growing conditions, Mrs Newton shed the tag of novice so quickly that he became the journeyman. Those who witnessed the transformation to Magnus Hall and Farm, a change in title on which she insisted, observed of the proprietress that her seeding, growing, harvesting and preserving proficiencies must have owed themselves to considerable prior experience. All combined, the returns provided more than enough discretionary spending to escort her man to the pub for dinner once a fortnight while being able to save a little as well.
It was one of the many characteristics that filled the old gentleman with pride. Regulars at the local Presbyterian church, he never tired of reminding worshippers how blessed he was. She sometimes tut-tutted and squeezed his hand in restraint at his fondness for so indulging his wife, though, for Colonel Newton, now regarded as the stately country squire, such repeated accolades were tolerated in Christian good humour.
An addition to their family of animals arrived with a dull thud at the door late one wild and rainswept evening during their second year of occupancy. It was preceded by forlorn scratching. What they saw moved their hearts and filled their eyes. A sodden, muddied, half-starved, mangy fugitive with a mix of as many colours as breeds, the dog had been beaten with a whip or some sharp object, was bleeding, shivering and terrified. The cringing bitch attempted to stand, but couldn’t, and Newton brought her inside. Immediately apparent was her gratitude for not being flogged again, although by this stage there remained precious little resistance in her.
He washed and bathed her wounds. This operation was carried out with painstaking tenderness, for there were times when the lightest touch on her ribs provoked a yelp or tremor. Soft bread in warm chicken broth was gratefully swallowed before he relocated her to a rug by the fire. Other than an occasional run of snoring, she slept for the next eight hours without a sound, much less a movement, having been swathed within a cushion of old garments on Newton’s side of the bed. It was the beginning of love for her and she gained strength with each passing day.
A sign with a photograph was posted in the general store and enquiries made around the village. No claim of ownership came about. Newton was disappointed on that account, not because the poor thing was overstaying its welcome but rather that he wanted to confront the person who may have been complicit in such cruelty. Another month passed and it was apparent that the culprit’s identity was unlikely to be uncovered. ‘Bridie’, as she came to be known, asserted that their residence was now also hers.
For Mr and Mrs Newton, Bridie was made theirs so much easier by love bestowed in return and she never let them venture far from her. She brought back memories of earlier canines in a foreign clime: the fearsome and never to be forgotten German Shepherd, who had given his life to save the child most dear to Newton. The second Rommel, only begotten survivor of the first, had been just as precious. On succumbing to cancer at seven years of age, Newton had pledged this to be the last occasion his soul would be torn apart by a dog. But all that disappeared into the Cornwall mists once he had fallen slave to Bridie’s eyes.
Newton stood outside the wrought iron gate, painted black and hung between two stout wooden poles in the middle of a cream-coloured paling fence. The front garden bore the mark of impeccable English tendering and roses, its most decorative feature, were in full pink, orange and red bloom. One side of the large block had a row of apple trees extending on an imperceptible slope to the rear. The other held a series of segmented and stepped beds of potatoes, tomatoes, cucumbers and lettuce bordered off with ears of corn, prominent and ripe.
The brick building had been rendered and coated in an ivory hue recently, it seemed, judging by paint spots at the footings. Its roof was made of iron and slate-coloured. Such a fine, if unpretentious dwelling in a neat, tree-lined and concrete-sealed street was nothing like he had expected. Newton began to question whether failing to secure verification of the occupant before paying off the taxi may have been incautious. Salutary barking from within silenced the thought and also sent him on a determined quest to acquire more courage. Shaking his head as the nerves reached a pitch he needed to dispel, Newton kept to the footpath and followed a continuous line of dwellings similar in construction but never so neatly gardened and manicured as the property under surveillance.
While the deviation purchased more time to compose himself, it did nothing to allay the gathering droplets of cold sweat. Mopping his brow at regular intervals served as a reminder that his preparation for this meeting had been woefully deficient. Striving to conjure an excuse to postpone it for another day, he hit on the one idea that appealed to his penchant for procrastination. What could make more perfect sense than to secure the services of an enquiry agent to be absolutely certain that this was indeed the address and the right person?
Hardly sooner than the thought entered his mind that he scotched it and meandered on, taking in perfumed jacaranda trees, the purple carpet of their flowers beneath his shoes emitting little popping sounds and becoming another fortuitous, if evanescent, diversion. Newton imagined that he was sitting opposite himself at one of those interviews where the subject of his interrogation was floundering. Any pathway became a reprieve to be grabbed, except for the one that would take him to the inevitable appointment with truth.
The black and white photograph in his possession of the day when she accepted the proposal of marriage was the only one he had of her, and he guarded the item as if his life depended on it. Twenty years sealed, he opened the envelope marked ‘Strictly Private’ in which it rested.
The first thing he saw was a tiny, demure face peeping around the folds of her hair, thick and flowing, and overpowering confirmation returned. That day she wore a short-sleeved suit of British racing green, formed around a fragile figure of middle height making her appear much taller than she was. Legs and arms she regarded as
an affront, bony and wretched, he saw as slender and comely. Her brows were intense, lashes long and mischievous, eyes guarded, a feature he preferred to overlook. He turned again to her hair, sunlight shimmering within its smouldering redness, his mind having imaged a technicolour dream.
When it came to the comity of marriage, Newton had lived with a proverb first drummed into teenage boys by the school chaplain, the adaptation of which required them to remember that it was appointed unto man once to fall in love and thence to marry and thereafter never to fall out of it or divorce. Despite all that went on around him, he had followed the instruction to the letter, if not its theological underpinning remembering that somewhere Christ had decreed an exception for divorce in the case of adultery.
If reconciliation was beyond reach and removed from mortal hope, Newton also believed that staying married, no matter what might cross one’s path to do otherwise, would become a sole spiritual absolution, more especially as he accepted responsibility for what occurred and nothing had, or would, alter that view. All these years later, the same air she breathed, being so proximate to that which nourished him, induced an overpowering recollection of the woman he never ceased to love.
He halted again. This time his fingers weren’t trembling as he brought the portrait so close that his lips almost touched it. As if some indwelling motor started and large hands piloted him like a blindfolded prisoner, Newton gave way. Prevaricating was pointless, postponement worse, and, tapping his back pocket ruefully, wished only that he’d thought of a hip flask.
Hesitant with the knocker, the seconds turned into an agonising, noiseless minute so he closed his hand to apply it with greater purpose. Thankfully, there was no barking this time, just movement, occasioning a bizarre presentiment that he was expected, as if objects were being repositioned and things hastily arranged in something of a fluster.
Light steps were coming closer and his breathing ceased altogether. The door opened and there she was, the afternoon sun catching her shimmering hair, coiled and entwined to rest at her shoulders but, instead of being nondescript, the suit was of that same green fabric, exactly as he imagined it a lifetime ago, and at one with the sapphire ring.
“The author has produced an enjoyable, high quality historical fiction novel from an era not well covered, being the period of the Malayan Emergency in the early 1950s. Woven into this period piece is an entertaining mystery involving several well drawn, multi-dimensional characters. The key protagonist, the Colonel, is chief among these, but each of the Colonel’s three wives feature importantly in the story and they are ably supported by other strong characters.
Modern readers might at first consider Tony Smith’s style quirky or old fashioned, but my advice would be to read on. This style not only lends authenticity to the period, but cleverly draws the reader back in time and into the story. Much of the behavior and dialogue of the characters is anachronistic but it is on point for the story’s characters, most of whom are portrayed within the context of their position within the British class system during the ‘end of Empire’ period following World War 2. The book is realistic of this portrayal and this adds to its charm.
The author’s use of letter-writing between various characters is masterful. From these various letters the reader learns much of which would usually be learned through dialogue, but in a tangential way. The role of letter-writing, and the content of those letters, supports the characters and time period entirely. The plot is well developed and plausible, deftly woven to give the reader just the right mixture of knowledge and anticipation. Of course, it is also a love story of sorts. The author may not characterise it that way but through the telling of the story, as the title suggests, we learn a great deal about the enigmatic Colonel and just how he came to have three wives – all eyebrow raising in their own way.”
“Enthralling saga entwined in a web of love, betrayal and intrigue. Riveting tale from a bygone era.”
An Epic Tale of Human Tragedy against the Fall of Singapore
As the Japanese assault on Malaya begins, naïve Australian marine engineer, Richard’s vain pursuit of a painful truth ends with him being battered senseless. Unconscious on an isolated Kuala Lumpur roadside, he is rescued by English doctor, Greda and her philandering planter husband, Edward, as his ship sails away.
The Imperial Army’s advance seemingly unstoppable, the lives of Richard, Greda, Edward, the British traitor Captain Heenan and enigmatic Chinese refugee Eva, consort to all three men, become desolately entwined.
With Singapore island under siege amidst chaotic resistance by the Empire’s defenders, Richard and Greda are thrust towards a wretched paradigm in the frenetic rush to board the Empire Star about to cast off from the doomed colony. What endures and what matters guides the decision neither wishes to make.
Deeply With The Sun In Our Eyes combines an intriguing labyrinth of contours and charismatic people. Destiny and abiding love are enmeshed within a tumult of treachery and honour against the shadow of the fall of Singapore, Britain’s greatest military humiliation.
Now serialised on Reading Radio 1296 AM.
“Checking the time again, he saw it was after one o’clock, and the reverberations in the distance were no closer. Resting only prolonged the agony of the restart, so he pressed on. But, having no realisation of how badly beaten he was, his lungs refused to provide the sustenance required to maintain greater than inept movement.
On such occasions, when the human instinct somehow produces additional physical strength, mental acuity begins to shut down. Richard failed to pick up the vehicle’s approach until it was almost upon him. By then he was beyond dreading the consequences of his enemy’s return, blank to all cognition except for the sound of a woman’s voice…”
“A primeval sun, having assumed early mastery of the day, bathed the large bay window whose shutters had been unfastened to accommodate its penetrative glory. Chintz curtains, one on either side, were drawn in by fluffy ties fixed to hooks. The interior décor in every respect replicated the guestroom of a tasteful Surrey manor house.
Though enervating outside, for Richard, the effect produced a restorative balm that persisted until he tried to move. Stymied in this small attempt, he smoothed one hand over a head that felt tender from crown to jawbone. There was tightness in his chest on aspiration. As his eyes adjusted, it was some time before he began to greet the surroundings. He determined that it was neither his cranium nor the room spinning but rather an overhead fan flicking the voyeur light like a carousel.
Almost imperceptible footsteps alerted him to the presence of a petite woman bearing a tray that supported a silver teapot, a bowl and a delicate cup and saucer. At first, she appeared to float around him, the starched bows of her apron appended like angels’ wings. A few blinks of his eyelids positioned her some distance away setting the items on a mobile table.
He started to murmur some words of thanks when a voice wafted over his.
“Good morning. How are you?” The lissom figure at the door had eluded his cognisance. “Thank you, Fanny. I’ll take over.”
The English accent solaced him even if the source of that mellifluous sound was not instantly apparent. She spoke again, and yet a third time, before Richard appreciated he was being addressed.
“Surely we might be entitled to hear who you are?” her inflections leavening the question. “What is your name?”
Habitually active from first light, this was a second visit. Always a picture of studied elegance however she chose her apparel — which was never finalised without the utmost attention to detail —today she had dressed in a calf-length blue skirt with a sleeveless soft-pink blouse. Apricot sandals completed the ensemble.
Richard attempted to slide up onto his elbows, embarrassed to find himself at a combined disadvantage in the presence of a stranger and unfamiliar ambiances. He groaned and she was beside him, having procured the chair occupied during the night by one of his attendants.
She laid her hand on his forearm delivering a mild chastisement. “That wasn’t wise. You must relax.”
Compliant, he sank back on several pillows, wondering whether he was dreaming. Trusting that instinct, Richard was desirous of prolonging its sustenance.
The earlier question earned a belated reply. “I’m alright, thanks. Where am I? How did I get here?” He wanted to add that he was hungry.
Greda followed his eyes regarding the twisting string of steam. “At least you retain some sensory intuitions,” she offered spryly. “I suppose you’re also wondering who this odd woman is. I’m a doctor and you’re at our bungalow. I live here with my husband. Our son is at boarding school. Last night we found you at the side of the road, south of Kuala Lumpur. Can you remember what happened?” she enquired. “Take a moment, no rush.”
Leaning over him, her fingers pressed his wrist while her eyes studied a timepiece. Satisfied, she wheeled the tray to his bed and poured tea. “I hope you take it with milk. I’ve ensured it’s not too hot. You must be famished. Are you alright to help yourself?” she asked, motioning with an open hand.
He nodded. She adjusted the pillows with assistance from the maid and they gently repositioned him.
“Now, how’s that?” she enquired, facing him.
What he saw so mesmerised Richard that it necessitated redistribution of the remnants of his energy to restrain an exposé of awe. An arresting woman, five foot nine inches tall, perhaps more, her legs rising idyllically from calves embellished by the pleasing fabric. Slender ankles captured feet that arched and tapered, complemented by toes finished with subtle nail polish. A wide brown belt accentuated her trim waist where blouse and skirt united.
He followed every motion, the turning away and back again, busying herself about the room, collecting a cloth that she tucked into his nightshirt. Her hands and fine, delicate fingers were artistic in symmetry and dexterity, a plain, narrow, gold band the only jewellery. Long, lean arms bearing a pale dusting of freckles met proportionate shoulders. When she reached across to improve the position of his supports, their proximity was such that he sampled the sensuous attar, gifted like a slipstream coursing through a tight copse of Cootamundra wattle trees.
Femininity crowned this creature blessed with natural beauty, evincing health and vitality, yet earthiness persisted. Something told she wouldn’t shrink from having her hands deployed wherever they might be required. Ears clasped their stem like rosebuds in early spring and rich black, wavy hair, fastened with a gold braid, spilled down her back. When she turned around, the cut of her blouse invited a glimpse of a perfect cervical spine overlaid with unblemished skin. He estimated her age in the late-twenties to early-thirties range and large, languid, grey eyes revealed a shade of fragility that evoked curiosity. For a split second, the thought arose that she was intent on signalling, even at this inopportune moment, an unmet emotional need. Brittleness impelled him to contemplate her thus.”
“The novel is filled with action and drama. The story is set in World War II where our protagonist Richard misses his ship, and is stranded. Help comes in the form of Greda and her husband Edward. They and their misfit companions need to find a way to get out of Singapore before it is too late and they are caught up in the war ravaging the island. They need to get to the last ship or else they have no hope for survival. Can they do it?
Really entertaining and attention-grabbing, Deeply with The Sun in Our Eyes is by far one of the best World War II stories I have ever read. I look for novels that cover this part of history because every author brings a new perspective of the war and how it affected the lives of people while tearing countries apart. This story, however, is on another level. A.C. Smith gives a history lesson while also entertaining the reader. Dividing the story into three parts makes understanding the plot much easier. I love the characters and how unique each of them is. They all have their dilemmas, they all have a story to tell, and the author makes sure each of them has the attention of the reader. Greda and Richard are the two characters that drive the plot forward and make sure everything gels well together. I am surprised by how emotions play a vital role in the plot; each descriptive scene is necessary, and the action is almost an entity in this story. It is a must-read novel for those who enjoy a great story along with a substantial plot.”
“Evocative of the tumultuous events of World War II, the story follows a cast of compelling characters caught up in the rippling effects of the war. It is at the beginning of the Japanese attack on Malaya that Australian engineer, Richard, is beaten to a pulp and left helplessly senseless, missing his ship. He is found and rescued by an English doctor, Greda, and her husband, Edward. Singapore is under serious threat as the Imperial Army advances. With danger looming ahead, the lives of these colourful characters — Richard, Greda, Edward, Captain Heenan, Eva — become intertwined. Follow these characters through a tale that involves love, treachery, honour, and hope. Will Richard and Greda succeed in boarding the last ship leaving the colony?
Filled with historical elements, A.C. Smith’s Deeply With the Sun in Our Eyes is a classic historical novel that transports readers into the experience of WWII and its implications for a number of foreigners trapped in a land that becomes more dangerous through every passing hour. The first thing that caught my attention as I started reading this spellbinding narrative is the strength of the writing. It features wonderful imagery, and I enjoyed how the author brings alive the elements of the setting, describing events that excite the imagination of the reader and crafting scenes with unusual focus. The characters are exceptional and each of them is uniquely written. I loved the way the author builds the relationships between the characters, their motivations, especially the drive to escape the war-ridden territory as quickly as possible. The humour elevates the writing and adds depth to the story.
This is one of the best books I have read with an international and historical setting in Asia; I adored the characters and the exquisite writing.”
“Deeply With The Sun In Our Eyes: Sacrifice, Treachery and Valour in the Shadow of Britain’s Greatest Military Defeat is a work of fiction in the historical, military, and true to life sub-genres, and was penned by author A. C. Smith. Written for adult reading audiences, there is some content regarding rape that readers may find triggering. Set during the Second World War, this intense and gritty novel follows the little-known story of the events surrounding the fall of Singapore. Our central protagonist is Australian engineer Richard, who misses his ship and finds himself stranded in the company of an English doctor and her husband, frantically racing to board the last ship out before terror arrives.
Author A. C. Smith offers both an emotive and educational look at a lesser-known area of military history, and one which will be sure to have historical fiction fans gripped from cover to cover. One of the things which I enjoyed most about the novel was the interplay between Greda, Richard, and Edward, which forms its own complex and emotional story within the tensions of war and the impending assault. There are certainly some brutal and graphic moments, ones that illuminate the true horror of war with highly descriptive accuracy, and overall the story has a desperate, high-octane feeling that kept me hooked in. I also felt the attention to cultural variance and behaviour of the different characters was intelligently done and never stereotyped. Overall, I would definitely recommend Deeply With The Sun In Our Eyes to WW2 historical fiction fans everywhere.”
“A.C. Smith’s moving novel delves into one of the undocumented events of heroism in the face of war. In its true-to-life backdrop that takes place during the fall of Singapore, Richard Kirnst is a dedicated Australian engineer who values his career and takes nothing for granted. He missed his ship as the Japanese assault begins on Malaya. After an incident in Kuala Lumpur, an English doctor, Dr. Greda Faircrossman, cared for him. Along with her husband, Edward, the three of them have to get out, and they have been on the run since the advance of the Japanese Imperial Army. Richard and Greda are racing against time to board the last ship to get to the safety zone in a time when priorities on who should get aboard become imperative.
This is a heart-stopping war novel that will make you care about the plight of the characters and how they overcome immense adversity. Deeply With The Sun In Our Eyes is very notably a novel about the indomitable human spirit trapped within our fragile, corporeal bodies. It is about the difficulty experienced by citizens in adjusting to oppressive circumstances. What makes it richer is how A.C. Smith shows that love can bloom even in the most trying times, especially when two people find common ground in going through the same misery. It is in itself a story that has its own complexity. If you are not a fan of historical fiction, reading this novel will likely change your mind.”
“Breathtaking story, a pleasure to read. I admit I did cry at the end.”
“Couldn’t put it down and now I’m late for work.”
“I wept. I wept.”