Friday, 16 December 2011

Book Review: An August Carol by J. Arthur


Released:  1st September 2011
Review Format:  Kindle ebook
Source:  Received from the author in return for an honest review

Available as Kindle e-book only from

It is July 1950. Rob is a twelve year old boy. He has just joined the local church choir both for a laugh and to be with one of his friends. His idea for being in the choir was for the fun of a yearly free day out at the seaside and being paid for singing at weddings.

Rob also likes the odd practical joke, he's not a menace though, in fact he's quite sensitive and, according to the ladies he is beautiful.

Sandra is nearly seventeen and a talented would be art student. She has a younger sister who it seems has never heard the phrase 'Demure young ladies'.

Sandra needs to submit a portfolio to the art school, Rob initially says he will pose for her, but has no intention of doing so. His get out plan goes awry and he does have to abide by his promise.

Over time and various happenings an emotional bond developes between them.
An August Carol is set in the North-West of England in 1950. The main character, Robert (or Rob or Bobbie depending on who you are!) was a really likeable character. Brought up ‘properly’ by his parents, to respect his elders and behave himself. Rob didn’t always adhere to this though and it was fun reading about antics.

Early on in the story we meet Sandra. She has applied for art college and needs to complete a portfolio of her work to take to the entrance interview. She has very nearly finished it and has just one more subject to draw. Her choices are Buildings or Nude Study and Sandra really isn’t great at drawing buildings …

Needless to say, there is a fair bit of nudity in this book and I did feel a little uncomfortable about this at times, but the author definitely brought across the innocence of childhood in the 1950 and made me realise how different children were back then.

My favourite character in the book was Rob and I especially enjoyed the parts of the story based around the church choir he had recently joined. I also loved Cathy – the tomboy younger sister of Sandra. She made me laugh so much with her snarky comments and fun loving, carefree attitude.

An August Carol is a nice, pleasant story of childhood innocence. The plot was fun and interesting and well thought out. The writing I thought still needed a little more polishing to remove some of the more repetitive text and unnatural speech, but in the main the story flowed nicely and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

My Rating:  3 stars

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