I finished reading the Gothic novella "The Haunting Scent of Poppies" in one go; it was easy to read, addictive, and made me reflect on the horrors of war and the devastating impact of mustard gas in the trenches. The main protagonist, Charlie, is portrayed as a highly greedy and selfish individual that the reader is intended to despise. The story effectively underscores the repercussions of theft and greed through the use of a haunted book. Can't imagine the horror those soldiers felt during the great war. It's truly distressing and serves as a testament to the soldiers' courage. The scenes were both realistic and heart-wrenching.
Brilliantly executed, the flashbacks in the post-war setting depicted the horrors of war. The smooth transportation between present and past and vice versa unsettled me and kept me on edge. It was difficult to read about what happened.
Despite its brevity, it left a lasting impression.
Many thanks to @strangelymagic @The_WriteReads @WriteReadsTours for a spot on the tour.
About the Author
Victoria Williamson is an award-winning author who grew up in Scotland surrounded by hills, books, and an historical farm estate which inspired many of her early adventure stories and spooky tales. After studying Physics at the University of Glasgow, she set out on her own real-life adventures, which included teaching maths and science in Cameroon, training teachers in Malawi, teaching English in China and working with children with additional support needs in the UK. Victoria currently works part time writing KS2 books for the education company Twinkl and spends the rest of her time writing novels, and visiting schools, libraries and literary festivals to give author talks and run creative writing workshops.
Victoria’s previous novels include The Fox Girl and the White Gazelle, The Boy with the Butterfly Mind, Hag Storm, and War of the Wind. She has won the Bolton Children’s Fiction Award 2020/2021, The YA-aldi Glasgow Secondary School Libraries Book Award 2023, and has been shortlisted for the Week Junior Book Awards 2023, The Leeds Book Awards 2023, the Red Book Award 2023, the James Reckitt Hull Book Awards 2021, The Trinity School Book Awards 2021, and longlisted for the ABA South Coast Book Awards 2023, the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize 2020, and the Branford Boase Award 2019.
Her latest novel, The Pawnshop of Stolen Dreams, is a middle grade fantasy inspired by classic folklore. Twenty percent of the author royalties for this book are donated to CharChar Literacy, an organisation working to improve children’s literacy levels in Malawi.
You can find out more about Victoria’s books, school visits and free resources for schools on her website: http://www.strangelymagical.com/