Swearing Allegiance by Jana Petken
A rich, eloquent story of love and betrayal set during the First World War
An Irish Easter uprising lays waste to Dublin and fractures a British Empire struggling to supply men and arms to defeat Germany.
In Dublin’s ruins, the affluent and celebrated Carmody family are not only forced to confront the rebellion’s devastating effects on their personal lives but also the terrible secrets and lies uncovered in the midst of grief.
Forced to abandon their home in the Irish capital for London, each family member must strive to survive poverty, the horrors of war, and personal bouts with excessive pride and passion – but loyalty to family proves to be the most difficult cross to bear.
Danny, the youngest, is an Irish Republican rebel who risks everything to fight for an independent Ireland.
Patrick, a surgeon, swears allegiance to Britain and joins His Majesty’s Royal Navy, which is engaged in tense battles to control the seas.
Jenny, self-entitled and strong-willed sees her wedding plans and grand ambitions disintegrate. With a fiancé incarcerated in a rebel prison camp and no prospects of her own, she faces a dismal life in one of London’s munitions factories – until a personal, cataclysmic event changes her life and perception of love forever.
About Jana Petken:
Jana Petken is a bestselling historical fiction novelist. She served in the British Royal Navy and during her service studied Naval Law and history.
After the Navy, she worked for British Airways and turned to writing after an accident on board an aircraft forced her to retire prematurely.
She is critically acclaimed as a gritty, hard-hitting author who produces bold, colourful characters and riveting storylines, and has won numerous major international awards for her work.
Review by bobar:
This is not my normal fare. I love science fiction and action fiction, including war stories. But the combination of intermingled love stories, the Irish civil war and the horrors of WWI trench warfare were enough to make me try “feminine” literature. I was rewarded for my courage!
I thoroughly enjoyed this novel! I hated to put it down. Not a page turner, but a very interesting combination of situations put together very well.
The novel does not sugar coat the horrors of combat nor is the romance gooey. The urban warfare in lreland and the trench warfare in France are sharply and concisely pictured without destroying interest in the various love affairs. Romance is sufficiently complicated to make a soap opera proud but the involvement of the wars makes the trials of true love natural.