How culpable are we in the events that define our history? Bob Bailey did not join the International Brigade in the Spanish civil war. Instead, he finds adventure at home in 1930's Cheltenham. Or rather, it is visited upon him as he becomes an unwitting accomplice in one of European history's most notorious air attacks. But those responsible pick on someone who is more than he seems. The wilful Bob values his independence, however it is lifelong friend Ada whose help he needs when his problems become gravely serious. This story of youthful hope, abuse of position and bloody mindedness tells how our actions can have far-reaching and unintended consequences.
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I wrote Quiet Falling in response to seeing young people going out to war zones, often with the purpose of helping the unfortunate victims of conflicts of which they didn't choose to be a part. I have lived in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire for twenty five years and it is still for most, but not all of its inhabitants, the comfortable town described in the book. Some of the themes in Quiet Falling derive from the contrast between the lives of those that live around me and that of people who don't live that safe, predictable existence. I certainly haven't experienced the hardships that affect the people whose difficulties led me to write on that theme, but what difficulties I have had through the course of a few careers and a couple of major failures, I'd like to think have helped me empathise with the people we all see each day struggling to live in whatever situation they find themselves, whether it be homelessness or just having a hard time at work. This touches on another theme in my thinking for the book. That is, while we talk about how much has changed in the last century, many aspects of life and the most important thoughts that occupy our minds are the same as they've always been. It is, for instance, a daunting thing starting out in working life, today, as it no doubt was in the 1930s, or at any time in history. But, I think, Quiet Falling is lighter in the reading than these 'heavy' themes suggest. At least, I hope so. It was my aim to write something with a message, but without moralising or being overbearing. 'Pop literature', if you will. Well, you be the judge. I would be very grateful for your review on Amazon, or drop me a line and let me know your views. Thank you for your interest and happy reading, W. D. Spiller