Soul Survivor: Lara's Story
Lara’s character is shaped by some cruel blows that life deals out to her but despite all these she retains her positive and loving nature. Garry Willmott weaves his story through the turbulence of mid-20th century history. The story encompasses post-war England, international investments and shady deals, kidnapping and ransom, Flower Power and the Swinging 60s, popular music, the waning power of the English class system and the political upheaval of the 70s.
A brilliant read and a wonderful history lesson!
- Sheelagh Wegman, Editor
There is something special about being taken back to a time and place which was very special for those of us that lived through it. I am referring to the 60s and the 70s. We kind of feel blessed, because that was the time when so much changed, people found a voice, some of the most wonderful music ever written just seem to come out of nowhere - including brand new styles, and of course it was the time of the greatest band of them all - the Beatles
Soul Survivor - Lara's Story is just that; it's evocative, poignant and brings up forgotten memories. It's something that sticks with you well after you finish reading it. It just won't go away, surely the sign of a superb piece of writing. It's not just the imagery that's created, but it's the depth of research that has gone behind the book, something where Mr Willmott excels.
Lara's life was one of tragedy, but after surviving a traumatic early life, she found herself rubbing shoulders directly or indirectly with celebrities, people who were at the time considered 'royalty'. In fact, I'm still scratching my head on two counts.
Firstly, I am trying to work out whether Lara really existed or not, and secondly - why has somebody not done this before i.e. produced a novel of such intimacy, where intimacy is related to the era and the relationship that a beautiful young lady had with that particular era.
Lara's story also has a very human underlying 'message'. It is clear that wealth can indeed be a curse, and not necessarily bring happiness. Even those who have been fortunate in the worldly material sense cannot escape what they have to go through - good or bad!
And the name says it all, you come into the world alone and you leave at alone, and along the way you are often facing the world alone as well. You have to survive as best you can!!
In the past, Garry has had a particular focus on the tragedy and crimes of war, particularly the First World War.
In these works, he highlights the brutality, suffering and the human element of war. Something that perhaps we do not think about enough. Garry takes you inside the heads and the hearts of those brave young soldiers who fought for our freedom. With Soul Survivor, Lara's Story, well it's certainly very different to Garry's earlier works, but it still has that familiar human quality which is peculiar to Garry's style. It's almost like you're living inside the soul of this young lady.
Garry is an author at the top of his game, and anybody who takes the time to read this book will be moved. Indeed when I was reading it, I was continually thinking 'what a great film this would make'.
I certainly commend Garry for allowing me to participate on this journey - a journey that is on one hand alluring and poetic, and on the other hand tragic. It's certainly one of the best pieces of work I have read and would hope that this review provides many other people with the impetus to buy or download the book - and read it for yourself. Once you're finished it, I can assure you that will feel different. It has an effect.
So well done Garry, it’s a great achievement.
- Cenred Harmsworth
I have just completed one of the most engrossing books I have read for a long time. I read it in ten hours.
I wholeheartedly recommend this book to anyone interested in the reality of life. I enjoyed it immensely.
Took me twelve hours to read, I was completely enthralled
I loved it. Could not put it down.
It was so full of facts that I never knew about.
Lara’s Story – another great read, took me about 5-6 hours to get through, a lovely way to spend the public holiday – this time learning more about the UK and the IRA that I was too young to understand when it happened – not that I think I understand it fully now.
The story of Lara is heartbreaking at times, her journey through life was certainly never boring. The information is all great and does help with understanding the times.
- Kim Krarup
Soul Survivor, Lara's Story is an unexpected and pleasurable journey through decades of iconic events and extraordinary locations, weaving together a storyline that demonstrates exceptional research by the author, G.S Willmott. While the main character, Lara, isn't someone identifiable or familiar, you'll soon be immersed in her extraordinary life and intrigued as to the outcomes. A great read that is guaranteed to prompt a few 60s' tunes to be played, fondly, and loudly.