By the Hands of Men: Book One: The Old World

By the Hands of Men: Book One: The Old World

by Roy M. Griffis


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"With elements reminiscent of Hemingway's A Farewell to Arms, in the midst of World War I, a relationship develops between an English lieutenant and a young Russian nurse-a surprising tenderness against the backdrop of war...with likable characters, spending more time in the Old World is an appealing prospect." - Kirkus Reviews

A soldier fights for his soul in the trenches of France. A field hospital nurse battles death every day. Are duty and honor enough of a reason to go on in the hell of a world at war?

A mere mile from the blood-drenched front lines, Russian refugee and nurse Charlotte Braninov encounters English Lieutenant Robert Fitzgerald, who helps her save the life of another soldier. Robert's calm, courtly manner lingers in Charlotte's mind, a comforting memory amid the deluge of suffering that surrounds her when she returns to the hospital.

Wounded during an unauthorized mission of mercy, Robert Fitzgerald finds himself demoted to a Medical Supply Officer, where he once more meets the brave young Russian nurse. When Charlotte volunteers to help the Lieutenant learn about his duties in this new life of service, a quiet friendship blooms and love grows in that harshest of soils, even as the war rages on. But human cruelty and endemic disease claw at their lives. Can love survive in a world torn by warfare, greed, and deception?

The Old World, a novel that readers are calling "deeply moving," "stunning," and "magnificent, is the first volume of the By the Hands of Men series. Epic historical fiction by Roy M. Griffis, the saga sweeps across four continents in a gripping tale of fate, loss, redemption, and love.

"A truly remarkable historical novel- so finely rendered in period detail - that the reader becomes one with the plot and characters." - RICK FRIEDMAN, FOUNDER, THE JAMES MASON COMMUNITY BOOK CLUB (6500+ members)

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781492731429
Publisher: CreateSpace Publishing
Publication date: 11/04/2013
Series: By the Hands of Men , #1
Pages: 298
Sales rank: 877,316
Product dimensions: 5.06(w) x 7.81(h) x 0.62(d)

About the Author

Roy "Griff" Griffis has written short stories, plays, poetry, novels, and screenplays. He is a member of the Writer's Guild and a former US Coast Guard Rescue Swimmer. His novel Lonesome George will be published in Spring 2014 by Liberty Island Media. The second volume of the "By the Hands of Men" series, entitled To the Colonies and Beyond, will be released in November 2013. He lives in Southern California with his family.

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By the Hands of Men: Book One: The Old World 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
WhisperingStories More than 1 year ago
‘By the Hands of Men’ is an historical novel by American author, Roy M Griffis and set in a base hospital behind the allied lines during the battle of Passchendaele in 1917. We were plunged immediately into the chaos of war as we met Charlotte Braninov, a young Russian nurse who has experience and skills well beyond her years. At the beginning, I was engrossed in the situation in which Charlotte and her cohort found themselves prior to her meeting a British officer, Lieutenant Robert Fitzgerald. With the introduction of Fitzgerald at the frontline field hospital, I wondered if the author was going down the road of a run-of-the-mill romance. Thankfully this did not happen and whilst the theme was the bitter sweet aspects of wartime relationship dynamics, there was an awful lot more going on than two people falling in love. In particular, some of the descriptive passages really tugged at the heartstrings as we witnessed tragic and senseless loss of life and its aftermath. There was a good balance between description and dialogue as an attraction developed between Charlotte and Fitzgerald in the early part of the novel. Also, Griffis created a striking contrast between the brutality of war and the tenderness of those who ministered to the injured, with the backdrop providing a plethora of scenes designed to bring out the strength of the cast. Charlotte was a strong character and her foils gave good support to the tale with a twist of tension between her and Alice, an upper class English nurse. I found Alice to be rather stereotypical, however Matron was a three-dimensional character and the cameo of Madame provided gentle daily respite amid the horror. The Great War provided a wealth of real life events around which the author has woven his story. Griffis was well-informed regarding processes, procedures and conditions faced by both troops and clinicians during this time. He also imparted a lot of situational information for those readers who have little knowledge of this period of history. As usual, I am being a little pedantic regarding the use of American-English; in this case, ‘walkway built over the railroad tracks’; Charlotte was educated in England therefore it was unlikely she would use such a phrase, however by-and-large the author’s use of British-English was fairly sound. (NB: I would suggest, ‘footbridge over the railway line’). The writing style was competent but I found the pace a little uneven towards the final third of the book; nonetheless this was a good read. I would recommend this work if you are a fan of romance with a sociohistorical backdrop. I hope to have the opportunity to follow the adventures of Robert Fitzgerald and Charlotte Bravinov et al in the sequel and award ‘By the Hands of Men’ four stars.
Boundlessbookreviews More than 1 year ago
By The Hands Of Men (Book 1: The Old World) told an amazing story. I have always loved history, but with it comes pain, war, death, hope, and sometimes even love. This story gives you all of these things. Charlotte and Robert meet amongst the battlefield. They then find themselves forming a bond while working together in the field hospital during World War 1. He is a soldier and she is a nurse. Any relationship between them is forbidden, but they seem to find a peace together. One that is hard to come by in a world torn apart by the death of men and women all around them. Near the end they become separated by thousands of miles. But their love is still there and very real. This book told a sad tale of the war. The world and the people are literally torn apart. Mentally and physically they fight against the horrors. This story brought many tears to my eyes. These types of books normally do. It was so good and so descriptive that at times it's like I was standing in Charlotte's place amongst the broken men and amongst the battlefield. That is what makes a good book. And this was better than good. It was intriguing and powerful. It was a work of art. It painted a picture in my mind, a sad one, but true and colorful, all the same. I look forward to reading the next book in this series....Stormi
DiiMI More than 1 year ago
We all learned about World War I in school, a sanitized version of the horrors faced by all sides. For those of us who have had the privilege of seeing or hearing of the war through relatives’ stories and pictures, most of us found that even the real-life version, although still gruesome, was also sanitized. After reading Roy M. Griffis’ The Old World, one will understand why this is such a difficult subject. Two people, from different countries find an island of peaceful coexistence while under the threat of death at any moment. Lieutenant Robert Fitzgerald never lost sight of his humanity or his honor while fighting in the mud and trenches, watching his fellow soldiers fall, maimed and bleeding or dead. Charlotte Braninov fled the upheaval in Russia to become a wartime nurse on the frontline of battle for the English Army. Hers was probably one of the worst jobs to mentally and emotionally deal with, often being able only to hold the hand of a dying soldier, some in their teens. Robert and Charlotte became like beacons in the dark nights for each other, and love grew, in spite of the desperate battles being waged around them. Follow the heartbreak of war, the hope of love and witness the soldiers, friend or foe take time out to share a time of humanity and temporary friendship on Christmas. If you have ever heard a firsthand account of these monumental times, you will be there to be part of it. War makes friends out of strangers, weaves lives together in desperation and solidifies lasting relationships and Roy M. Griffis has brought the past to life in often gruesome detail, with no sanitized words. This tale honors the men and women who went to war, many never to return. Through his story of love, loss, pain and hope. I received this copy from Roy M. Griffis in exchange for my honest review.
THouchin1 More than 1 year ago
I just finished reading a wonderfully well written historical fiction novel. It is set in a French field hospital during World War I. The details of trench warfare and what the conditions were like for both the soldiers and the doctors and nurses who tried to put them back together were incredible. Great attention to details of the time period. The social prodicals, the way people of different ethniticity reacted to the current events were very realistically portrayed. I saved the best for last. His characters are beautifully crafted. Charlotte, the Russian nurse is someone we get to see evolve from a naive young girl to a very well respected accomplished physicians assistant. We get to see how she hardens and matures because of the things she sees and has to do during the Great War. We see the friendships that are forged under the worst conditons. We also watch as a friendship with Mr. Fritzgerald turns into forbidden love. This is a very well crafted story. If you are a fan of historical fiction, as I am, you will love this book. Give it a try I'm sure you will not be disappointed.