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Half in Shadow: A Novel by [Gemma Liviero]
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Half in Shadow: A Novel Kindle Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars 2,926 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

After finishing a novel, especially a riveting historical novel, I always wonder what inspired the author to tell that particular story. When I asked Gemma Liviero what sparked the idea for this novel, she shared how she came across a devastating account of a sixteen-year-old British soldier during World War I who, injured and suffering from shell shock, wandered away from the trenches. What unfolded after he was arrested for desertion haunted Gemma, and from that seed grew Half in Shadow.

Both heartbreaking and life-affirming, Half in Shadow takes an unflinching look at grief, guilt, and loyalty. At the center of the book lies a love story between two characters who have lost so much. Josephine works for the Belgian resistance, desperate to protect what’s left of her family. Arthur, a British soldier caught behind enemy lines, has no home to return to. They find solace in each other, but the war makes it nearly impossible for them to stay together.

What I love most about this book is the thread of hope woven throughout. Although the characters endure unbearable suffering and loss, they hold on to hope—hope for their families, hope for redemption, and hope for one another.

—Jodi Warshaw, Editor

About the Author

Gemma Liviero is the author of the historical novels In a Field of Blue, The Road Beyond Ruin, Broken Angels, and Pastel Orphans, which was a finalist for the 2015 Next Generation Indie Book Awards. In addition to novel writing, her professional career includes copywriting, corporate writing, writing feature articles and editorials, and editing. She holds an advanced diploma of arts (writing) and has continued her studies in arts and other humanities. Gemma lives with her family in Queensland, Australia. Visit www.gemmaliviero.com for more information.

Product details

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B08YYZ9ZXY
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Lake Union Publishing (January 1, 2022)
  • Publication date ‏ : ‎ January 1, 2022
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • File size ‏ : ‎ 1868 KB
  • Text-to-Speech ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Screen Reader ‏ : ‎ Supported
  • Enhanced typesetting ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • X-Ray ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Word Wise ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Print length ‏ : ‎ 383 pages
  • Page numbers source ISBN ‏ : ‎ 1542026962
  • Lending ‏ : ‎ Not Enabled
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,926 ratings

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Gemma Liviero is the author of the historical novels Broken Angels and Pastel Orphans, which was a finalist in the 2015 Next Generation Indie Book Awards. In addition to novel writing, her professional career includes copywriting, corporate writing, writing feature articles and editorials, and editing. She holds an advanced diploma of arts (writing) and has continued her studies in arts and other humanities. Gemma lives with her family in Queensland, Australia. Visit www.gemmaliviero.com.

Customer reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5
2,926 global ratings

Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States on December 1, 2021
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Reviewed in the United States on December 4, 2021
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Reviewed in the United States on December 11, 2021
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Reviewed in the United States on December 6, 2021
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Reviewed in the United States on December 1, 2021
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Reviewed in the United States on December 10, 2021
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Reviewed in the United States on December 11, 2021
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Reviewed in the United States on December 8, 2021
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Top reviews from other countries

Sarah Brown
1.0 out of 5 stars Present tense makes for an awkward narrative
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 1, 2021
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7 people found this helpful
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Roses are Amber
3.0 out of 5 stars I quite liked the overall story themes, but it didn't 'touch' me.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 17, 2021
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3.0 out of 5 stars I quite liked the overall story themes, but it didn't 'touch' me.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 17, 2021
Half In Shadow is set during World War One in occupied Belgium. It revolves around the Descharmes family, with a sub-plot about an English soldier.

The story begins in 1914 with the occupation of Belgium; the Descharmes family are shocked by a series of shootings and arrests. After this terrifying time the family go to live in Brussels which is now under German rule. Josephine Descharmes finds work as a waitress in a hotel, while her brother plays a dangerous game: driving a delivery lorry for the Germans and working for the resistance.

The secondary plot is about Arthur, whose son was killed early in the war. The heartache from the boy’s death breaks up his family, and while consumed by grief and guilt Arthur enrols himself in the army. He chooses to follow his son's path, fighting from the trenches on the frontlines.

The First World War theme of this book appealed to me; I was reminded that I know less about this war than the Second World War. For example, I hadn’t remembered that Holland was a neutral country at this time. It explained why the Resistance were so eager to get soldiers across the border into Holland.

It took me a long time to settle into this story; I was into the last third of the book before I began to feel empathy for the characters. The style of writing chosen by the author made it hard for me to engage with them. It is important to me to have an emotional connection to characters and I just didn’t get that. I would also have liked to ‘feel’ more of the fear, grit and desperation; yes there was sorrow, pain and anger, but I never really believed that they were in too much danger. Actions happened but the raw emotion was lacking.

I’m sure that there will be lots of readers who will enjoy this story and who won’t mind the style in which it is written. I quite liked the overall story themes, but it didn't 'touch' me.
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K. Whitfield
1.0 out of 5 stars Tedious
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 10, 2021
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2 people found this helpful
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Tricia
4.0 out of 5 stars Sad but enjoyable
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 18, 2021
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Kindle Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars A story of Belgium under occupation during WW1
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 16, 2021
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