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Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite
Tom – The Adventures of a Portsmouth Lad is a work of autobiographical non-fiction which focuses on recent British history, from the harbor town of Portsmouth to the wider seas of the world. The central figure is author Tom Edwards, who is a Second World War veteran from the Royal Navy with many incredible adventures as a young man during his times at sea. From pirates and shipwrecks to the intricacies of home life in a time where traditional roles for men and women were still set in stone, this incredible life story takes us through eighty years of British history. The experience is one of immense nostalgia and emotion, as well as a keen-eyed look at how times have changed, sometimes for better and at other times for worse.
One of the most striking things for me personally in this book was that Tom’s story reminded me of that of my grandfather, who was born in the same year in Wales. As an author, Tom Edwards tells his tale in the third person to give the story a biographical feel, and includes many photographs from his own past, and more recent ones to illustrate and bring to life the locales he visited during his many travels. Tom’s take on life is both relatable and unique, and through experience he presents an interesting view of adaptation and the immense changes that society has undergone during less than a century of living. Overall, Tom – The Adventures of a Portsmouth Lad will certainly awaken the memories of readers who lived in those days and also educate younger readers on the incredible efforts of a whole generation.