Amidst the bombs and bullets, the fear and confusion, it is sometimes the battles within our hearts which leave the deepest scars.
Experience a sweeping saga set in war-torn Europe during the desperate years of the Second World War. At its heart is a cast of characters who draw us into their lives from the defeat of Dunkirk to final victory:
Tony, a young man barely in his twenties who experiences the horror of Britain’s first defeat and offers his unique talents to the war effort, only to find that his secret work threatens his relationships with those he loves. David, Tony’s elder brother, fighter pilot and hero of the Battle of Britain. Sarah, whose work with the VAD’s brings her into contact with so many, forcing her to choose between a man with loyalty and honour or another with all the characteristics of a coward. Bobby, a young American GI for whom a posting to England brings love and hope. And at the centre of it all, Heronfield, the manor house set amongst the gentle rolling downs of southern England, one time home for Tony and his family and now a war-time hospital.
Heronfield, witness to six long years of loyalty and love, anger and hatred, loss and betrayal.
It is difficult to set 'Heronfield' down. An amazing read - Historical Novel Society
A fantastic story. I cannot recommend it highly enough - Readers' Favorite
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|Age Range:||18 Years|
About the Author
Born in England in 1957 Dorinda Balchin graduated from Warwick University in 1980 and began a career in teaching. Books and writing had always been a passion for her, but with two children to raise and a demanding career in the field of education Dorinda’s love of literature was mainly confined to reading with little time to explore and develop her writing. Then in 2008, along with her husband, Dorinda gave up her teaching career and made a life-changing move to southern India where the couple now run a guesthouse. This change of lifestyle has allowed Dorinda the time to develop some of the writing projects which she has worked on over the years. Her love of history is clearly reflected in her well researched novels which draw you into another time and place peopled with believable characters with all the strengths and weaknesses which we recognise in ourselves. When asked about the influences on her writing Dorinda Balchin acknowledges that these are eclectic. “We don’t show just one characteristic in our lives” she says, “we are an amalgam of our thoughts and experiences, our hopes and fears, our education, and the influence that numerous people have had on us, shaping us into the people we are today. It’s the same with authors and genres which have influenced me - the social and historical writings of Dickens, factual history books, historical novels by a variety of authors, books about philosophy or religion, science fact or fiction. Each genre has a place on my bookshelves and has helped to shape my ideas and writing style into something which I hope reflects the richness of human life in an accessible and entertaining way.”
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Set in Europe during the Second World War, Heronfield takes us on a six year journey of war, friendship, love, sadness, and hope. We meet many different characters, a few of whom are taken right into our heart. I became strongly attached to one of the main characters, Tony. A young man hardly in his twenties, he is secretly recruited as a British agent in the efforts to foil Hitler’s war. I found myself feeling sorry for him when certain members of his family turned against him for shirking his duties when in fact, unbeknown to them, he was doing the exact opposite, but was duty bound not to tell them. I felt the turmoil and heartache he was going through. He showed a tremendous amount of strength and courage throughout the story – all borne by his passion to defeat Hitler, to prove to his father that he was indeed fighting in the war, and most of all, the driving force to keep going – his love for a woman. Another character I enjoyed reading about was Sarah, a volunteer nurse. She gets stationed at Heronfield, a family home turned war hospital. She has plenty of heartache along the way but it makes her stronger over the years. As the story progresses and I found myself rooting for her all the way. Some characters are constant, and others are fleeting, but memorable all the same. We come across a German soldier who makes us realise that they are not just the enemy. They are human too. The German soldier does a selfless and heartfelt deed. We meet him again later on in the story and he has the opportunity to end a life. Instead he chooses to back down and explains that he doesn’t agree with Hitler, but if he doesn’t fight under the regime then he’s as good as dead anyway. It’s a touching scene and puts a different spin on the people behind the enemy faces. The story grabbed me from the opening pages, with the graphic descriptions of the attacks on innocent civilians by the Germans. It’s harrowing but draws you right in, and you get a real sense of what actually went on during the war. I liked the mini segments that gave real life time lines of what was happening during the war in various locations. It gave a sense of where the story would head next, and the progress of the war. They were superbly detailed without being boring. The author has expertly carried out her research. The environment descriptions, the horrors of war, the abhorrent conditions of concentration camps, torture methods meted out, and many more besides are so wonderfully detailed that I found myself there. I winced at the persecution of innocents, gasped and grimaced at the torture methods bestowed on one of the characters, and I shed quite a few tears along the way. My heart was in my mouth many times and the raw emotion grabbed at me and didn’t let go, even after finishing the book. I’ve never read a story that’s taken me by the soul and stayed with me quite the way Heronfield has done, and that’s a really good and beautiful thing – and a sure sign of a brilliantly well-written story. Sadly I can only give this book five stars. I wish I could give it more but five is the maximum! An absolutely amazing story that needs to be read.
Reviewed by Trudi LoPreto for Readers' Favorite Heronfield by Dorinda Balchin is a six-year saga set in England during World War II. It is a fantastic story that put me on the battlefield and into the lives of brothers Tony and David, their friends, family and loved ones. Heronfield is the home of the two brothers, but is now being used as a convalescent hospital for those injured fighting the Germans. Sarah is a young woman who is volunteering at Heronfield, nursing the soldiers back to health. David joins up and becomes a bomber pilot, making his father, Sir Michael, very proud. Tony becomes a secret agent, parachuting into enemy territory, setting up a resistance group, and working to destroy the strategic spots without getting caught - but he is unable to tell his family what he is really doing. Sir Michael thinks he is a coward and not willing to fight for his country. The story took me into many of the battles and to the horrors in the concentration camp that the prisoners had to endure on a daily basis. Heronfield also shared with me the happy times of falling in love and seeing friends caring for and helping each other through very tough times. What a wonderful book this is. Dorinda Balchin wrote four hundred and ninety pages of an excellent story. It took me longer than I expected to read it, but each page made me cry, cheer, smile, and anxiously await D-Day and the end of the war. Heronfield is a fictional story with accurate historical events that made for a superb book. I cannot recommend it highly enough, especially if you enjoy family sagas and World War II history because it combines these elements in an incredibly good read.