The Separation

ISBN: 9780575081154
See also: Grumpy Old Bookman ; Singling out the duplications ; Guardian Review ; Excessive Candour ; Sandstorm Reviews

Jack and Joe are identical twins. Medal winners in the 1936 Olympics in Berlin, their lives diverge down different paths. One joins the RAF and flies bombing runs during World War II, the other is a pacifist and a conscientious objector.

But it is hard to describe the plot of this novel with a brief paragraph; it is about the choices people make, about the different possibilities that are out there, and about how there is no such thing as being totally right or wrong in war. It is an alternate history, starting with the present-day investigations of historian Stuart Gratton, who lives in a world where Churchill and Hitler stepped down from power after a deal negotiated by Rudolph Hess, and saw the emergence of a far different world order.

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Grass

This was an impulse purchase, I’ve read one or two others by Tepper and although I enjoyed them I do think that she has a tendency to be a little preachy in her books. However if the story is good enough I’m willing to overlook that, and I’d have to say that I really enjoyed this novel. Set at some point far in the future when humankind has colonised many different worlds, the majority of this book takes place on the planet Grass, among the insular bon as the aristocrats are called.