Less Dreadful With Every Step By Clive Woolliscroft
‘Less Dreadful With Every Step’ is the latest book by Clive Woolliscroft.
In August 1914, the lives of two young people seem mapped out in front of them. Frank, happily employed as a bank teller, is to marry his fiancée in the spring. Emily is also to marry around the same time. Both are natives of Jarrow. Their homes are about a ten-minute walk away – but they have never met. Then, everything changes. Carried along with the jingoistic national celebration that follows the declaration of war, Frank enlists in the army, leaving his family and fiancée behind. Shortly after this, a devastating loss leaves a massive void in Emily’s life. To help fill that void, she volunteers with the Voluntary Aid Detachment. By the end of summer 1916, both Frank and Emily are serving in France. Their lives intersect twice, once in France and once in Jarrow. After they meet, the destiny for one is tragedy, and for the other, hope.
Set against the backdrop of the First World War, ‘Less Dreadful With Every Step’ is seen from the narrative of Emily and Frank, both fighting for their country. Frank fighting in the war and Emily as a nurse caring for the wounded soldiers.
Set in France, having lost her fiancé at sea, Emily feels at loss and decides to become a nursing volunteer. Frank along with his best friends joins the army under the illusion that it will be an adventure and you can’t help but feel sorry for their naivety. When Frank becomes seriously ill with pneumonia, Emily looks after him and as they are from the same town find a connection in each other and run into each other again over the years and become friends.
The dual narratives give an interesting insight from the front lines with vivid descriptions of the war scenes, the injuries, the locations, you felt you were in the trenches with Frank or bandaging a poor solider with Emily. The story really tackles the hardship of the war, the death, the casualties, the impending doom and the mental health toll it has on the soldiers.
A story of hope and tragedy, ‘Less Dreadful With Every Step’, follows the lives of two young people destined for great things only for the war to rip their lives apart.
You can buy ‘Less Dreadful With Every Step’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.