Julie McNicholls, Cambrian News
The novel’s story starts in December 1918, when the Royal Navy sends a squadron of ships to Estonia to aid their fight for independence. When the squadron is due to depart, a young navy officer jumps ship, sacrificing his career for the love of a woman – but the Navy reclaims its own. Huw Williams is dragged back to his homeland in disgrace.
Years later, the world is at war again. Huw is scratching a living on the docks when the past comes to call. He is flung into covert operations in a land caught between two armies, and a people living under threat of instant death or deportation to oblivion in Siberia.
He joins the Forest Brothers, the partisans living secretly amongst the silver birches of Estonia. There, ghosts of his past life emerge. This is not the return to romantic dreams he had imagined. Nevertheless, an old flame rekindles and the once embittered Huw rediscovers his desire to help save the country and the people he loves – but how can he do either, living as a fugitive?”
Author – S P Moss on Booksy.co.uk
The story is that of Huw Williams, a welsh ex-navy officer who has played a part in Estonian independence in 1918. He’s then recruited as an undercover agent in 1944. Huw returns the land that played such a pivotal role in his life as a young man and, nearly three decades later, must confront his past in a present torn apart by war.
The 1944 narrative is interspersed with flashbacks to 1918 and the reader gradually learns the significance of the people that Huw re-encounters in the forests of Estonia, living as fugitives, the “Forest Brothers”. This “then and now” telling of the story works most effectively, and certainly kept me turning the pages!
As well as being a rattling good adventure, “Forest Brothers” is a story about identity – personal identity and national identity – and is a story with a soul
Author Pam Eaves on Booksy.co.uk
The history is cleverly interwoven with a love story, tender, without becoming mawkish, which rang true. The characters are well drawn, and the horrors of living in a war zone with the added memories of lost opportunities and guilt adding to the trauma of war, made the tale come alive for me.
Bronwen Jones – County Times
Geraint Roberts has created a fast moving action novel, dealing with themes of trust, power and patriotism.
It is also very retrospective, placing the past alongside the present, and constantly comparing the two, so the reader can witness how the country was in better days through his flashbacks.
These flashbacks help us understand Huw’s motivations.
Roberts’ description belies a love of Estonia which endears you to it.
I found this novel really interesting because it was an aspect of the First and Second World War that I have never studied or known about, and it was refreshing to learn something new.
Forest Brothers is a very interesting, entertaining novel, and I recommend it to anyone interested in the First and Second World War, and those who enjoy a good love story.