The Arrival of Missives – Aliya Whiteley


In the aftermath of the Great War, Shirley Fearn dreams of challenging the conventions of rural England, where life is as predictable as the changing of the seasons.

The scarred veteran Mr. Tiller, left disfigured by an impossible accident on the battlefields of France, brings with him a message: part prophecy, part warning. Will it prevent her mastering her own destiny?

As the village prepares for the annual May Day celebrations, where a new queen will be crowned and the future will be reborn again, Shirley must choose: change or renewal?

The Arrival of Missives by Aliya Whiteley is an interesting, different and sometimes slightly peculiar novella published by Unsung Stories.

It follows the story of Shirley, a young girl living in a remote village more or less cut off from everyday life in the aftermath of the first World War. It’s beautifully written and paced, but it’s a hard story to classify – it starts off apparently as one thing, then evolves facets of sci-fi and magic, though they’re deftly understated. Definitely not YA despite our heroine being a young adult. When I started the book I wasn’t sure it was my sort of thing, but quickly got drawn into the story.

In short (and it is quite short), it’s a fascinating tale. Worth picking up if you want something a little different.

Many thanks to Unsung Stories for the review copy.

Author: dave

Book reviewer, occasional writer, photographer, coffee-lover, cyclist, spoon carver and stationery geek.

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