Vain Shadow
GenreLiterary Fiction / History
Age Rating:R15
Submitted:Friday, 4 February 2011
Star rating:
(5 ratings)
Read by:956 different readers

The trenches were only a taste of hell. It took a woman to teach him the real meaning of pain.

Young musician Tolly Tolman and his best pal Harry join up in 1914. To them it’s the great adventure, a ripping lark. Tolly pledges to wed his childhood sweetheart Ruth, Harry’s sister, ‘when the job is done’.

But nothing could have prepared Tolly for the horror of the trenches. Following the Armistice, he wanders lost in Paris. He can never face Ruth again, carrying a terrible guilt about the night Harry died.

He joins a jazz band and throws himself into tormented hedonism, embarking on an obsessive, drug-fuelled affair with a debauched American heiress.

Now she lies dead, and Tolly must flee Paris or face arrest and the guillotine. He finds himself back home, reading his own name on the town’s new war memorial…

…and learns the truth.


List of chapters

Ch. 1 A Ripping Lark
Ch. 2 Cock Robin
Ch. 3 Volunteers All
Ch. 4 Such Fine Boys
Ch. 5 Schreklichkeit
Ch. 6 Fighting Man
Ch. 7 Sewing Shirts for Soldiers
Ch. 8 Give
Ch. 9 As If We Were Wed
Ch. 10 This Is Yours
Ch. 11 Hell’s Clowns
Ch. 12 Are We Downhearted?
Ch. 13 What We’re Here For
Ch. 14 Unavoidable Losses
Ch. 15 Into The Twilight
Ch. 16 Tutts Clump
Ch. 17 Strange Music
Ch. 18 Vain Shadow
Ch. 19 Buck Up, Ruthie
Ch. 20 Wretched Business
Ch. 21 Ballade
Ch. 22 Bad News, I’m Afraid
Ch. 23 Best to Wait
Ch. 24 Call Me John
Ch. 25 Fly Away Peter
Ch. 26 Pinch, Punch
Ch. 27 This Way for the War, Son
Ch. 28 Hold Until Relieved
Ch. 29 Broken Table
Ch. 30 Holocaust
Ch. 31 Entr’acte: Warrior
Ch. 32 Missing
Ch. 33 Compliance
Ch. 34 Desolation Rag


N.Raju Thursday, 13 March 2014
This is great, I love the aesthetics you conjure up as well as character traits being developed through dialogue. Its subtlety allows for rich language to carve a story for the reader. Kudos!!!
Mimi Gene Tuesday, 2 April 2013
I really enjoyed this! I can't wait until I have more time to read more of your story! Terrific!
Nick.BD Saturday, 23 February 2013
Interesting first chapter, love your style and the pace, great chapter, I will surely read on...great job
Catherine McCarthy Wednesday, 31 August 2011
Wow. these are the kind of books I wish I could put MY name on! :) SPECTACULAR!
Jessica E Tuesday, 12 July 2011
Steven Wyatt is my uncles name :3

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