Read advance reader review of Two Storm Wood by Philip Gray

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Two Storm Wood

A Novel

by Philip Gray

Two Storm Wood by Philip Gray X
Two Storm Wood by Philip Gray
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  • Published:
    Mar 2022, 384 pages


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There are currently 27 member reviews
for Two Storm Wood
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  • Anne M. (Madison, WI)
    An Unexpected Pleasure
    Military battlefields are not my favorite scene for a novel. And I was expecting the story to focus more on Amy and Edward (I love a love story!) and less on the men and the fighting and the atrocities of war. Much to my surprise, the book kept me enthralled, wanting to read on! I found myself intrigued to uncover along with Amy the various connections and associations of the characters to solve the mystery of what really happened to Edward Haslam. A conclusion of sorts came together rather abruptly in the end through the use of letters, which is my only criticism. Otherwise, it was a great read full of plot twists and turns, and I can see a sequel, should the author consider writing one!
  • Kimberly C. (Ypsilanti, MI)
    Compelling and emotional
    A compelling war drama that is part mystery, part thriller and part love story. The scenes of combat and wartime devastation are gripping. There are a number of military officers (perhaps too many) to keep track of, but the story is propelled by the central theme of Amy Vanneck trying to learn what happened to her fiancé on the battlefields of France in the Great War. There were a number of times I found myself reading and thinking the story would make for an engaging movie. The final chapters are quite powerful and make for a satisfying conclusion.
  • Bev C. (Latrobe, PA)
    Two Storm Wood
    This book with topic, time frame and genre seemed like a good fit for me.
    But truthfully I stalled in the first portion of the book.
    I am so glad I continued!
    As the story evolved on the battle fields of northern France, it became evident that the plot was much deeper than I originally suspected.
    Well researched, thought provoking and surprising, I thought characters were well portrayed and situations resolved for the reader.
    I do recommend this read.

    Thanks to W.W.Norton & Company and BookBrowse for an ARC.
  • Roberta W. (Los Ranchos, NM)
    An outstanding WWI story
    This excellent book gave me a better understanding of the horrors of WWI. My grandfather came back from WWI, with what would be called PTSD now, and this book gave me a glimpse into what he might have endured. The descriptions of the trenches, the dead and the living, many of whom suffered disfiguring injuries, was told in great detail.

    I had not given much thought to the fact that after war, bodies must be identified to help bring closure to grieving relatives. It was a grisly task and this book does not gloss over these details.

    The main character, Amy Vanneck, sets out to find her fiancé who is missing in action. She learns that she should search Two Storm Wood, the scene of a great atrocity, where her fiance may have played a part. She herself meets with danger as she tries to uncover the truth.

    The author's research was meticulous and the book is well-written. There is romance and mystery which is entirely believable.

    I highly recommend this book.
  • Joanne V. (Phoenix, AZ)
    A Difficult but Compelling....
    I have never read anything by Philip Gray or much about WWI, but I would highly recommend this book. The writing, plot, character development are terrific! It was not a particularly easy read and I am going to re-read it when I don't feel rushed. The book describes the horrors of trench warfare, and I was unaware of the soldiers who stayed behind to identify the dead. Read this book! It would also be a good one for a book club discussion I think. Thanks so much for the opportunity to review and to discover a new author! Well, new to me!
  • Rebecca H. (Bolton, CT)
    Two Storm Wood
    This is a compelling novel that combines historical fiction, suspense, romance, and social commentary, and has all the best elements of each. The story alternates between two timelines: the latter part of WWI and just after the war. Amy Vanneck's secret fiance, Edward, has enlisted late in the war, having been forced to do so by the influence of her parents. A gentle schoolmaster, he is in a reserved occupation and is unsuited for battle. Amy travels to France to try to recover his body after he goes missing in action. As she searches for his corpse amidst the horrors of the trenches, she uncovers the scene of a gruesome mass murder. Soon she is mired in an investigation of her own, not knowing who to trust amongst the military on the scene. The depictions of the moral ambiguity of war and the reality of trench warfare are harrowing and realistic, and Amy's struggles are authentic for a woman of her time and class. The characters leap off the page to live in the imagination, and the writing is skillful and powerful as the suspense builds towards the final climax. Two Storm Wood is the best war novel I've read in a long time, and I highly recommend it to lovers of historical fiction.
  • Jennifer B. (Oviedo, FL)
    Two Storm Wood
    Philip Gray has written a mystery about one of the most influential periods of time in history. This post World War I novel tells of the immediate aftermath of the Armistice before many of the soldiers had left the battlefield for home. The story is about a handful of people whose lives become entwined with an unlikely young woman during her search for her missing fiancé on the battlefield. Her dogged search reveals dark secrets and tangled relationships between her lover and his comrades. Her guilty past drives her to finding the truth even at the expense of safety.

    This "thriller" dragged a bit in the middle of the book. However, the final chapters were very satisfactory in answering many questions and bringing out several surprises that will keep readers interested. For me, the dedication of volunteer soldiers staying behind to find and claim their fallen brothers is the heart of this story.

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