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June Book Club Choice

Starshine by John Wilcox

Cover of Starshine


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Wilcox perfectly captures the horror and tragedy of the First World War in this vivid and moving novel.

1914. Outnumbered British forces are desperately trying to hold off the oncoming German soldiers in France. Star shells – commonly called ‘starlight’ - fly high into the night, illuminating the chaos, violence and death taking place in the French trenches below.Like so many other men, Jim Hickman and Bertram ‘Bertie’ Murphy are plunged into this nightmare.

As the war progresses, Jim receives honour after honour, whilst Bertie sinks deep into depression. And back home Poppy, the girl they both love, must choose between the two men…that is, if they ever come back alive. As the trio are trapped in physical and mental torment, a terrible tragedy befalls them…

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Suggested Discussion Points:

Author Q&A

Q. You go into a lot of detail throughout the novel with dates and locations- how much research did you have to do?

A. With the sort of work I do – building a fictional framework upon a vertebrae of fact – it is absolutely vital that you get the facts right. So yes, I do a hell of a lot of reading and, where I can, visiting the sites of the battles in which I set my characters. So I tramped over the killing fields of the Ypres Salient and know the back streets of Birmingham where my three protagonists lived. I hope this attention to detail comes through in “Starshine.”

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Book Club Reviews

This star review was by Paul Meade.

Starshine was an excellent read, I have now read it 3 times, an enthralling book, an excellent addition to my collection.Paul Meade

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