This feature is in association with NetGalley.
The Road to Grantchester, James Runcie
Thanks to NetGalley and to Bloomsbury for an advance copy of The Road to Grantchester by James Runcie. I’m a big fan of Sidney Chambers, so it was great to be given this opportunity to find out what led him to Grantchester.
First of all, I’m not keen on writing that’s in the present tense at all, but the story was so engaging I soon forgot to get upset about this. The layout was a little all over the place too, although we were warned of this as it was an advance copy and not the finished product.
I found a lot of the war experiences to be very graphic and real. I don’t think Runcie has glossed over what it was truly like in Italy during the last years of the Second World War. If he has, then it must have been gruesome. I didn’t mind this at all, though. It made quite the refreshing change to not be molly-coddled by an author.
I really, really dislike the Amanda character. While this is very good writing and character building, I did wonder several times why Sidney stayed friends with her, let alone entertained her selfishness. In my mind, he really would be so much better off without her and I felt like screaming at him to just let the silly little girl go.
However, I did thoroughly enjoy discovering all that had gone on before and why Sidney found himself where he did. It was good to know more about his own personal demons. And I loved the period in which the story was set.
Every Grantchester fan needs to to read this prequel. Apart from Amanda, I loved every minute of it and read it very quickly.