Troubador A World of Trouble – Fateful Decisions

Released: 28/08/2020

ISBN: 9781838595005

eISBN: 9781838596187

Format: Paperback/eBook

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A World of Trouble – Fateful Decisions


1940, Guernsey. Nineteen is a time to be young, to make rash decisions and follow your heart. For Marion, Stella and Rachel, age doesn’t mean a thing when World War Two comes to their shores. A mass evacuation springs into action, hundreds of people, both friends and family, fleeing their tranquil island. By the 1st July, that home is invaded by German troops, a strong, ruthless force that submits the islanders to their will. Now is not a time to be young, but a time for courage as the three women face their most dangerous times. Little do they know it will stretch for five more years…

With Marion and Rachel locked on the ‘prison island’, lacking basic supplies, and under an increasingly authoritarian regime, life is challenging. Each wrestle with their own difficult choices, both feeling alone, lost and scared for the lives of those they love. Life for Stella may not be under authoritarian command, but she still struggles to make her way in England, having to rebuild her life without counsel from family and friends.

Will all three find the courage to soldier on? Or, without each other’s support, struggle to survive the cold times until the liberation?

1]Book Launched by Coastal Villas Book Group in Paraparaumu, New Zealand on 4th September 2020.

2] Interview and article in Kapiti News, with copy in New Zealand Herald, Weds September 9th.

3] Interview on BBC [ Guernsey News] Friday 18th September 10 15-45am.

4] At 1 March 2021;170sales of paperback and 14 ebooks. 10 reviews on Troubador and 1 on Amazon UK

The Northern Reader

New Zealand Herald

NZ Herald

A great read. While crises can bring friends and families together they can also wrench them apart. Small differences of opinion, difficult choices about how to survive can disrupt relationships. This book tells of the cumulative differences occurring for three young women and those they were once close to as a consequence of the WW2 occupation of Guernsey. Insightful.

by Mary Marriott

Fancy being locked down for six years and cut off from the rest of the world? With Covid-19 many people are now experiencing lock downs and being cut off from family members and friends in other countries. In Guernsey, during the Occupation, it was much worse. The story told is of three young women who faced it all, but the story is more than this. It tells of the hardships faced by men who stayed on the Island and the men who left, and of families, and even of some of the conflicts for the Occupiers. It is well written and a gripping story which keeps one's attention all the way. A good read that is relevant today.

by Ian James

One of the main reasons I love historical fiction is because of the actual history lessons I’m learning as I turn each page. Yes, a good deal of the story is fiction but so much of it is based on actual events and the story paints a vivid picture.

Rachel, Marion and Stella are the best of friends. The girls went to school together, shared the stage in community plays and they each had a very different experience with the Germans invaded the Channel Islands in 1940. Stella was able to escape and try to make a life for herself in England. Thankfully, the boy next door was close by and helped her establish a new life away from their island. Rachel and Marion were locked in on the island. Rachel, a nurse, got a front row seat to the decline and devastation of her home. She befriends a German doctor who was conscripted into the army. He’s a good man and together they try to secure the supplies needed to care for the residents. Marion also stays behind and becomes a companion to a German officer. She is looked down on by her community and disowned by her mother as a result of her actions. Over the next several years, Rachel and Marion just try to make it to the next day while Stella is on the outside looking in and tries to find a way to help her former home.

What I love about this book is the fact that it opens ones eyes to the fact that each and every person had a different experience in WWII and the each and every one had a different outcome. The characters are extremely relatable and likeable. This is definitely a weekend read. Once you get immersed in the story, you won’t want to put it down.

by NetGalley review

This book had an interesting take on the classic WW2 novel with being set in Guernsey from 1940. It shed a light on events not usually seen with the story being supported and grounded by the real history of the period.
The writing is good and the pace rapid which adds to the urgency of the time period e g. In the beginning when people are being evacuated, it helps really evoke the panic described in the book. The main characters are all likable and relatable, enabling the reader to become invested in the story and get drawn in to it. It is a relatively quick read compared to most historical read and it is a good way to pass some free time.
It was quite difficult to follow initially with the introduction of many characters within the first few chapters, as well as the three stories running in parallel.
However, as the story went on, the use of the three narrators added to the story by giving a fuller picture of the time than would be seen with just one narrator. I enjoyed reading about the variety of experiences each MC had which allowed greater depth to the story.
I would recommend this book to anyone with an interest in historical fiction.

by NetGalley review

Delia Adams
I have just finished reading A World of Trouble and found it fascinating and beautifully written covering every perspective from all sides and done so compassionately. Each story was told with dignity and respect.

by Delia Adams

I loved this book. There were so many different characters, all of whom were believable. The story starts with the innocent childhood carefree friendship of three girls whose lives are torn apart in their teenage years by the German invasion of Guernsey Island and how their and their families' lives are disrupted. The girls, with their different careers, are faced with different challenges in different countries, and soon grow apart (but are later reunited through their bonds and roots to the Island). The storyline for each girl keeps the book interesting; there are short chapters and timelines, and the diary notes and letters typed in different fonts, make it very personal. The book gives a good account of the hardship endured by the Islanders, especially the withdrawal and unavailability of supplies, and the lack of assistance given by the British Government. There is no reference to any violence by the Germans; in fact, some of the army personnel are immensely helpful and humane. We are reminded that even the enemy is a Mother's son with wives and families of their own, and most do not want to be under orders to fight and kill.

by Bronwyn Maysmor

For many of us born after WWII the focus on war history has been on Europe, Japan and the Pacific so reading this book was not only a learning experience for me but a great read, too. The author has created vivid characters who intertwine throughout the book seamlessly. The history of the invasion on Guernsey is revealed through the three girls and the effect it has on their lives and that of their families. This is a wonderful book that you'll enjoy very much.

by Muffy Coleman

For many of us born after WWII the focus on war history has been on Europe, Japan and the Pacific so reading this book was not only a learning experience for me but a great read, too. The author has created vivid characters who intertwine throughout the book seamlessly. The history of the invasion on Guernsey is revealed through the three girls and the effect it has on their lives and that of their families. This is a wonderful book that you'll enjoy very much.

by Muffy Coleman

Three firm friends...three very different stories. When the German army invaded the unsuspecting and unprotected island of Guernsey in July 1940, every aspect of life was controlled, from access to the beach to the time setting of the clock. Any speech or action deemed disrespectful was punished, and radios confiscated. "A World of Trouble - Fateful Decisions" follows the fortunes of Stella, Rachel and Marion as they adjust to life under occupation. Stella, wrenched from family and friends, was hastily evacuated to England. Rachel found her nursing skills essential and all-consuming. Marion managed to maintain her passion for theatre - but at a cost. Author Jacky Renouf has crafted three engaging characters, based on the stories told by family members who lived through the occupation. An absorbing read, the book is also a tribute to those real people who survived the challenges and privations of the years until liberation in May 1945.

by Jan Camfield

A well written, thoroughly enjoyable book which held my interest to the end. I particularly liked the way each aspect of the story was told. This is a book I definitely recommend. Well done Jacky. I look forward to your next one.
Coleen Albrighton

by Coleen Albrighton

Jacky Renouf

Jacky Renouf's forbears came from Guernsey. Her father joined the British Army in 1939, whilst her mother evacuated from Guernsey in June 1940. Jacky was born in Chelmsford in 1944. The family returned to Guernsey in 1946 and migrated to New Zealand/ Aotearoa in 1953. Jacky has a Masters Degree from Canterbury University and worked in the social welfare services between 1965 and 2018. She held senior positions in government and the not for profit sector. She wrote numerous academic and social policy papers during her working life.

Jacky believes that families need to know their whakapapa [family lore] and is committed to telling her own inter generational stories. To this end she wrote two family histories as she wants her nine grandchildren and two great grand daughters to know their past.

This is her first novel. She believes that the World War 2 experiences of the Channel Islands residents need to be appreciated as being significantly different to those experienced in the United Kingdom, and need to be remembered in this 75th year since Liberation Day.

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