BOOK CLUB: Stormbird

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Stormbird by Australian author Karen Turner is the final book in a trilogy following on from “Torn” and “Inviolate”. This novel can be read independently but for myself, I like to read a whole series from beginning to end to have a better understanding of the lives of past characters and how the storyline evolves.

Set in the 1940’s it has been over 100 years since the grounds at Broughton Hall were occupied; after being widowed Jessica is the new owner, raising her children and running a dairy farm. The British and Germans are at war, when a German fighter plane is shot down Jessica discovers the pilot hiding in her barn gravely ill. Despite the war and differences and having the young captain in her home; Jessica feels a sense of compassion towards him as she nurses him back to health.

When the British government starts to investigate and begin the search for the German soldier, Jessica is fearful she may be held accountable for harbouring an enemy. Twists and turns unravel capturing the fever of war and the sentiments of all faced with danger. Jessica and Anton struggle with each other at first but slowly a rapport emerges, the theme of racism is ingeniously developed alongside the themes of, patriotism, friendship, and freedom.

The story is fast-moving, tense, and at times frightening and yet is beautifully softened by the relationship between Jessica and Anton. I particularly enjoyed that Anton was crystal clear that he loved his country.

He was indeed a proud German and simply obeying the orders of his leaders, Karen did a great job of making Anton as relatable as possible. I formed a connection with him instantly and that took my reading experience to another level.

He was vulnerable, in tune with his emotions, and tried his best to survive. He wasn’t extraordinary; he was just a man whose life was destroyed by the war. I liked how Jessica’s character is filled with human warmth even after all she has lost and the strength she has to make a new beginning and open her heart to love again.

Karen Turner has written a nonstop action, deep human emotion, conflict, and resolution novel. I loved how she has incorporated real life and real people events into her novel, drawing from her mother’s and grandmother’s memories in Leeds, Yorkshire in 1941. Her descriptions of houses, streets, and the way people lived in those agonising times with fear and deprivation are very real.

Clearly, she has done her research on how people lived and worked during WWII, the locations, the timings, and the factual events. I thoroughly enjoyed this novel and highly recommend it.

Thank you Beauty and Lace and Fisher King Publishing for the opportunity to read and review.

Author: Karen Turner
Copy courtesy of publisher: Fisher King Publishing, Karen Turner and Esencia Communications

A selection of our Beauty and Lace Club members are reading Stormbird by Karen Turner. You can read their comments below, or add your own review.

12 thoughts on “BOOK CLUB: Stormbird

  1. Thanks to Beauty and Lace for the chance to read this book.

    In Stormbird we meet a widowed young English woman named Jessica who is struggling to keep her home afloat during the early years of WW2 and injured German pilot Anton.

    I loved this story. There were moments where I was on the edge of my seat reading and couldn’t wait to continue the story. It was filled with love, laughter, suspense and drama. A very well written historical romance.

  2. Can there be a more impossible love story? It’s early days in WWII. New widow Jessica lives in the rural country outside Leeds in the beautiful but crumbling Broughton Hall, farming her dairy herd. Her husband was sadly killed in action with the Germans and his body never recovered. Jessica’s now struggling to maintain an income for herself, her two young children, and the older couple who work with her. When they find badly injured German pilot Anton sheltering on the property, Jessica struggles with the dilemma of whether to hide/nurse him, or surrender him to the authorities. The fact that someone like him may have killed her husband weighs heavy on her mind – she wants to hate him – but the others persuade her to care for him. What follows is an incredible and passionate story, with knife-edge suspense to the very end. There are also a few ghosts to lay at rest at Broughton Hall, which carries through the stories from Books 1 & 2 in this series. I hadn’t read them, but I got the gist enough to follow. What an incredible page-turner, I loved it.
    Thanks so much to Beauty & Lace Bookclub and Fisher King Publishing for the review copy.

  3. Thank-you Beauty & Lace for giving me the chance to read & review ‘Stormbird’ an e-book by Karen Turner.
    This story is based in England during the 1940’s about a young widow Jessica struggling to keep her family safe during the war and the unwanted arrival of Anton an injured German pilot found in the stables. I immediately thought nothing but bitterness and heartache would result from this story but I was pleasantly surprised as the characters developed and I really became invested in their outcome.
    The story had me gripping my seat as to the outcome, ultimately hard choices had to be made to ensure the safety for all those involved – what would happen? The epilogue was a nice touch especially as it was the last book of the 3-part series, I really enjoyed the book and would happily recommend it. Thank-you ‘Beauty & Lace Bookclub’ for the opportunity to read ‘‘Stormbird’ by Karen Turner.

  4. OMG! I loved Stormbird by Karen Turner so much. You know you’ve got a good book when you find it really difficult to put down at night and then wake up excited the next morning because you know you’ve still got more of the story to go. I also loved that it was a long book because I didn’t want it to end. If you love history, war, romance and a little bit of mystery/supernatural all mixed in together, then this will be the book for you. It was so exciting and suspenseful and I had no idea what was going to happen. Thank you Beauty and Lace for letting me review this book >:o)

  5. Stormbird by Karen Turner is a beautifully written book
    Jessica is recently widowed living on the outskirts of Leeds with her two children and an older couple who help her on the farm.
    War is still raging, A severely injured pilot Anton is found and Jessica has such mixed emotions in regards to Anton but she is such a good hearted person she nurses Anton back to health ( no spoilers )
    This is a long book but so easy to read and follow even though it is the 3rd book in this series

  6. Stormbird by Australian Author Karen Turner is the final book in a Trilogy. I didn’t feel that I missed anything by not having read the previous books but it would have filled me in on the history of the house and the paranormal aspects.
    This book is set in 1940’s Yorkshire and follows a forbidden war-time romance.
    The descriptions of country life in war torn England are well researched and very interesting but ultimately I found the book to be a bit slow and repetitive and very long.
    Thanks to Beauty and Lace for my copy for review.

  7. I am still in the middle of reading this book and now totally engrossed and cannot wait to find out what happens at the end… it took me while to get into the characters as the language is a bit different being a different time and different country. However I managed to persist without this putting me off.

    Thank you beauty and lace for allowing me the chance to read this during lockdown as it’s been months since I’ve picked a book up and it’s now piqued my interest in reading again.

    This isn’t normally the kind of genre I would read but it’s easy to read and also grabs your interest to find out what happens at the end between Jessica and Anton and how they will look to the future…

  8. Stormbird is the first book I have read by Karen Turner, and it wasn’t until I had finished it that I realised it was the final book in a trilogy.
    It is a fantastic read (I was seriously ready to scream at my husband if he didn’t stop interrupting me as I was trying to finish it!), effortlessly blending the paranormal with an incredibly realistic story of people’s experiences during World War 2 and the Blitz.
    Jessica is a young widow living in a rundown property in Yorkshire with her eight-year-old twins Mary and Thomas and struggling to get by during the war. Rumours are the property is haunted and Jessica certainly finds herself aware of a teenage girl, an old woman, and a border collie that appear and disappear.
    Mr Sam Clay and his wife Marg, also live on the property, having answered Jessica’s advertisement for an odd-jobs man in return for rent free accommodation, an arrangement that works well with the Clay’s rapidly becoming like family.
    Jessica’s parents, Eric and Olive, live not far away in Leeds, and every night as the German bombers go over, Jessica worries that the bombs which are being dropped on Leeds will take her parents lives.
    The shooting down of two planes that have been terrorising the area, and capture of three Germans, 2 pilots and a bomber, are great cause for celebration in the area. Until Jessica stumbles upon a third pilot lying badly injured in her woodshed.
    Jessica’s fear, anger and hatred are palpable, this man represents all of those bombing and destroying her country, all those responsible for killing her husband, all the evil perpetrated by the British Government and Press, and he’s on her property, and Sam seems to be fully aware of his presence.
    Two lines from the book at this point gave me pause, the first was as Jessica exclaims ‘we can’t keep him. He’s not a pet, he’s the bloody enemy!’ And then Sam responds ‘All’s I could think was what if that were my boy. What if some Kraut lady were kind enough to take ‘im in…feed ‘im and nurse ‘is wounds?’ How powerful, what an amazing example of true humanity, Sam and Marg’s son has been killed in the war, and yet they can see beyond the uniform, to a person who is in need of help.
    Against her better judgement Jessica agrees to assist the young pilot to heal, and now she must hide him from the authorities, because if they were to find him in her home she would be jailed and lose her children.
    Shortly after the arrival of the German pilot, Jessica is gardening when she uncovers a small box in the garden with the letter M.M.W embossed on the lid. Inside is a journal, a memoir, and a letter written in 1871 which eerily seems to be addressed to her.
    From here we follow the journey as Jessica and the pilot’s relationship grows and changes, the search by the authorities for the downed pilot threatens everyone’s safety and sanity, and through it all the memoir seems to be somehow mirroring aspects of Jessica’s life.
    It is rare to find a book that acknowledges that while there were certainly plenty of fervent, nationalistic Germans who joined up because of their belief in the Fatherland, there were also plenty of Germans who were conscripted, who didn’t share Hitler’s beliefs in a final solution and actively worked to protect the German Jewish population. At the end of the day if we strip away labels, we are all just human.
    Turner does a wonderful job of showing what life was like for inhabitants of Yorkshire during the second World War, with rationing, destruction of property, air raid sirens and sheltering from bombs. I loved the way the two children Mary (older by 14 minutes) and Thomas interact with each other and the world around them, the attitude towards the Yanks, the introduction of the word ‘okay’ to the English language, and the gentle use of the Yorkshire vernacular.
    An absolutely first class read, recommended for anyone who enjoys a good romance, is interested in history, and doesn’t mind a little friendly paranormal thrown in. Five stars from me.

  9. An unthinkable situation in a time of war, where man & woman have so much hatred across the sides, this tale of impossibility tugs the heart strings and holds you to hope.
    A German pilot crashes his experimental plane in the countryside of England. English woman Jess is just trying to keep her family safe after the loss of her husband to a U-boat attack. An unusual pairing, enemies relying upon one another.
    I like a book that helps me turn back the clock, see life in anothers eyes, throught their actions and life. I enjoyed the story, the emotion, the battle both inner and outer. To see where captain Anton and Jessica would end up, to see if there was a happily ever after, my phone died twice while I worked to find the answers.
    Thank you for the chance to read this book.

  10. I was excited to receive my ebook version of Stormbird by Australian Author Karen Turner. Not realising this was the final book in a Trilogy, I found the book easy to follow as a stand-alone.

    Stormbird is set in wartime England In the 40s. Jessica the main character is faced with a troubling situation when a Germany pilot is found at her country property. The story touches on many themes of; love, loss, and prejudices.

    I found the book a little slow to start, but then hard to put down! It was handy having the ebook format so I could easily translate some German phrases. I enjoyed reading about the characters and seeing were their encounters end.

    Thank you Beauty and Lace Book Club and Fisher King Publishing for the reading and reviewing opportunity I am most happy to recommend.

  11. Thank you to Beauty and Lace, Fisher King Publishing, Karen Turner and Esencia Communications for the opportunity to read and review Stormbird, what an amazing read!

    I’m looking forward to going back and reading the first two in the series!

  12. Thanks for the opportunity to read Stormbird by Karen Turner.

    This is an interesting story for any reader or WW2 history buff. A story set in a time of immense stress and loss where impossible decisions have to be made. Slow to start the story builds and sweeps the reader away in the beautiful and sad story line. The issues of the community Jessica lives in – their prejudices and small lives – is also beautifully covered.

    I didn’t realise this is the final book in a trilogy, but that didn’t matter in reading this absorbing, engaging and interesting story. Great characters, interesting storyline. Well worth a read!

    Thanks to Beauty and Lace!

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