June 16, 2012

Pegasus Falling

Author:            William E. Thomas
Publisher:       Acute Angle Books (March 26, 2012)   
Medium:         Kindle

Goodreads Synopsis:
‘Who was she, Sammy?’ 
‘Naomi. Her name was Naomi.’ 
Sammy’s nightmare was over, but his agony was about to begin. 
Arnhem, 1944. Captain Stanley Adam Malcolm Parker - Sammy to his friends - and his platoon have fought bravely, but it was always a losing battle - the bridge was unwinnable. When his men are taken away to spend the rest of the war as POWs, Sammy finds himself incarcerated somewhere all the more terrifying - a concentration camp. Spared an immediate death, he discovers firsthand the full horror of the final solution. 
In a place of utmost fear and desperation, beyond all hope and salvation, Sammy makes another entirely unforeseen discovery - the beautiful and mysterious Naomi. 
Sammy’s battle is now to stay alive, sane and keep hold of the woman he loves.
Following the successful publication of The Cypress Branches in hardback, the epic novel has now been adapted into a series of paperback books for general release, with each book concentrating on a set of characters featured in the original. 
Pegasus Falling is the first part of the Cypress Branches Trilogy to be released in paperback. A truly heartbreaking and courageous work, it follows the emotional story of paratrooper Sammy and his struggle to survive the terrors of World War II and its aftermath. 
With a sharp eye for detail and keen ear for conversation and dialect, William E. Thomas has painted an evocative historical backdrop to the intensely moving and often funny story of an unforgettable group of characters whose lives and loves are challenged by a constantly changing and volatile world.

I think there is a book inside all of us, a story that begs to be told, an idea that needs to be put onto paper, and a dream that needs to be shared.  Sometimes the story playing out in my head is more like a comic strip some days, but there is something begging me to let it out.  Mostly I ignore it.  I don’t think I have the courage.

Some people choose to listen to their inner selves, and William E. Thomas, author of Pegasus Falling was one of those people.  Like many people, Mr. Thomas waited until he retired to put his dream onto paper.  Then the daunting and difficult task of trying to find a publisher who will at least glance at the query letter before tossing the labor of love into the compost pile.  I come from a family of various artists – from painting to the written word – and they can all tell you that rejection of their medium is like being stabbed in the soul.

Through the revolution of technology the availability of being able to self-publish a book has become pretty simple and straightforward.  Unfortunately for Mr. Thomas, time got away from him, and his once sharp mind was thrust into the depths of the unknown as he struggled with Alzheimer’s.  Fortunately for Mr. Thomas, his grandson, Mike, made his dream come true.  Who wouldn’t do that for a beloved grandparent?

I have to be honest, Pegasus Falling was a difficult book for me to read, and it took me much longer than normal to get through it.  I found it very hard to fall in love with any of the main characters, and at times found myself very angry with a couple of them.  Maybe that was the point that Mr. Thomas was striving for, and I missed it.

The setting of the book is at the very end and in the time following World War II in Germany and in Palestine.  It was a bleak time for all of the characters in the book, some more than others, and that may be what lead me as a reader down the path that I took while reading it. Part of the reason for me getting bogged down was all the political turmoil, which is very important to the story, but at times distracting. There were times that I wanted to scream at the main characters, but ended up shaking my head as I normally do when people are clueless and allow themselves to be led down paths that only lead to heartache. 

One thing I really did like in Pegasus Falling was to see the "other side of the story". I saw through an author's eyes what the British really felt about the Americans in the aftermath of World War II. Most of the time it was unfavorable, which could be upsetting to some, but the raw honesty of the opinions, really made me sit back and think. As a general rule, you always carry your country in your heart and love her, but not everyone feels the same way. I actually really liked that.

The best part of Pegasus Falling for me was the last chapter.  I won’t give anything away, but this chapter was the best in the entire book!  While at times throughout the book the actions that took place were subtly hinted at, it was unexpected and made the ending of the book worthwhile, and it makes me wonder what else is going to happen in the rest of the series. Quite precisely the very smart marketing of Mike.

The real story of Pegasus Falling is the true story of the love of a family brought together by making a dream come true for their patriarch. If it wasn't for Mr. Thomas's grandson, Pegasus Falling may have ended up in the same dreadful place that one's mind goes when it is battling Alzheimer's.

While Pegasus Falling was not one of my favorite books that I have read, I am glad that I had the opportunity to spend some time with Naomi, Sammy, and Carrie, because that meant I got to spend some time with Mr. Thomas. Thank you for letting me be a part of his dream.



  1. "Success has a thousand fathers while failure is an orphan."
    History is, generally, written by the winning side; it takes a lot of searching to round out the tale.
    So many countries, today, love...LOVE...the USA's money but they hate her people. Because they choose hatred, they will, probably, never see the connection between us and our money. They'll also never believe we, the people, can be just as righteous, faithful, just, hateful, ugly and small minded as they. Because they don't see those negatives in themselves, only in others.
    It's a terrible thing to choose small over large; our lives bear out the story no matter what our words say.
    Excellent review; food for thought plenty.

  2. It was certainly an eye opener to see things from that perspective. Of course, the first knee-jerk reaction is to get mad and sputter a bit. Then I actually thought about it from the author's perspective and calmed down and just kind of went with it.

    Thank you for you thoughtful comment.

    And if we didn't have food for thought, our minds would suffer. Thinking is good, albeit painful sometimes.