Thursday, November 7, 2013

Unravelled: Review and Giveaway

Published in 2013, Unravelled by M.K. Tod is a historical novel that focuses on Edward Jamieson, a signaller who fought in Vimy Ridge, and his wife, Ann.  Although Edward is haunted by the horrors he experienced in WWI, he and his wife travel from their home in Toronto to France in 1936 for the Vimy memorial dedication ceremony.  At the ceremony, Edward spots his former love, Helene Noisette, whom he met before meeting his wife; the attraction between Edward and Helene is still strong.  (Oh, oh!)  The story is set in the 1930s and 1940s (chapters are dated), and begins with this trip to France.  Later in the book, at the onset of  WWII, Edward joins a group training espionage agents, and often travels, while Ann stays at home to take care of the house and the children, Emily and Alex, and also volunteers to counsel grieving women.  Leading separate lives due to the nature of their work (and other factors) during WWII, the couple grows apart, and their marriage begins to unravel.

"Disconnected sentences gradually gave way to a flood of words as Ann disclosed her fears that Edward would never return, that her marriage was over, that life would never be the same, that she would not have the strength to go on.  When she finally stopped, they sat in silence again for several minutes.  A calm, comforting silence."
~Unravelled, M.K. Tod

Unravelled is a page turner and then some.  Passionate, exciting, and intense, this book depicts the profound effects of both wars on people and focuses on the marriage and family life of the Jamiesons.  I was moved to tears a few times.  The novel gives us the private, innermost thoughts of both protagonists, Edward and Ann.  We're privy to their secrets, and they earn our compassion. We feel their anguish and joy and everything in-between; we witness their struggles to keep their marriage--and themselves--intact.  (I'm married, and I enjoy reading about married people; so many books focus on singles searching for love.)  The themes in the book are serious--war, death, survival, love, marriage, sex (including adultery)--so this book is best suited for adults.  Because Edward and Ann spend a lot of time apart, they experience loneliness and uncertainty, and their marriage becomes noticeably strained during wartime.  They make mistakes which threaten to destroy their marriage and family.  (I wanted to admonish them at times, but of course, characters in a book do not listen to readers!)

The battles and campaigns mentioned in the book are based on actual events, and the entire feel of the book is authentic.  Although I'm not an expert on WWI or WWII, the book is well researched (sources are cited by the author in the Afterword), and M.K.Tod brings them to life in a riveting fashion.  This novel will appeal to those who relish novels about WWI and WWII, as well as stories about love, marriage, and family.  As for me, I could not put this book down!  I think it would make a great historical movie (although I haven't decided yet who I'd cast as the male or female leads).  I'm currently sleep deprived, as Unravelled has kept me up late the past few nights.  But it was definitely worth it.

Wonderful news!  France Book Tours is offering an international giveaway for an ebook edition of Unravelled.

  • To enter this giveaway, simply leave a comment.
  • For another chance at winning, become a follower of this blog, or let me know that you're already a follower.
  • For an additional chance, post about this contest on your blog, Facebook, Pinterest, or Twitter.

Enter by 5 PM PST on Thursday, November 14.  One winner will be selected randomly and announced on Friday, November 15.

Thanks to Emma from France Book Tours for sending me a copy of this novel.  For additional reviews of this book, please visit the other stops on the book tour for Unravelled.  Although this is not an epistolary novel, it features several letters and telegrams which contribute substantially to the story, so I've linked my review to the Postal Reading Challenge on Melwyk's blog, The Indextrious Reader


  1. Many thanks for your review, Suko. I'm so pleased you enjoyed Unravelled!

    1. Thank you, Mary! It's a wonderfully written, and held my attention throughout the pages.

  2. This sounds intense and fabulous! Thanks for bringing it to my attention.

  3. wow, thanks for your enthusiastic review. for sure, the book deserved it totally! this is such a great reason for being sleep deprived, lol. Emma [FBT]

    1. Emma, thank you for including me on this tour!

  4. As I am so bogged down with my TBR I must bow out of the giveaway.

    Though I have said I would likely enjoy a well written book set in any era, this period is of particular interest to me. based on your commentary it sounds like the characters are very well crafted and thought out here too.

  5. Thanks for you great review! This sounds like a great read.

  6. I love historical fiction, especially with this setting. The fact that you couldn't put it down says a lot.

    I am a follower.

    laurafabiani at videotron dot ca

  7. Great review, historical fiction isn't my usual chosen genre but my sister would love it. thank you


  8. How traumatic for those who were involved in and and had to endure two world wars. I could sympathize with both of the characters.

  9. This sounds like a book I would like very much! I know my mom would enjoy it even more! It's set in a time when she was growing up and would be even more meaningful to her. Thank you for the giveaway.

    GFC - Carol M

    mittens0831 at aol dot com

  10. A page turner and then some. Wow, that is high recommendation indeed.

  11. This sounds very intriguing -- there is something about war novels that makes them so absorbing. Glad to hear that there are important letters in this novel; I don't imagine that if they were able to pick up the phone & call each other like today there would be as much of a story to follow!

  12. I absolutely adore the cover for this book! I would pick it up to read based on that cover alone. But then I read your review and it became a MUST read for me! Thanks Suko :)

  13. This sounds fantastic, and you know how much I love reading books set during the World Wars. Thanks for the giveaway!

    I am a follower.

  14. Unravelled sounds wonderful. I have to agree, being married I enjoy reading about married couples as well. I love reading romance, but so many stories are about the couple getting together.
    I love historical fiction, please enter me for the giveaway! Thanks! I'm already a follower.

  15. It looks like a wonderful novel ! Wars are so terrible for people, men, women and children. I wonder how people went through them and admired them a lot.

  16. I have Unravelled too. Looking forward to a lot since I read your review.


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