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Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite
Rawhead is a work of historical and military fiction penned by author Jon Bebbington. Based on the real experiences of the author and his family during the First World War, we find ourselves in the idyllic Cheshire countryside of England. A family of tenant farmers is about to encounter the most terrifying prospect the human population has ever seen: a world war. As the impact of the war is felt at home on the farmland, the young men of Cheshire are sent off to fight, causing yet more heartache for those left at home. But the horrors those men face on the European mainland are secrets that they will either take home deeply buried in their minds or be buried with them.
What I enjoyed most about this immersive work of historical fiction was the comprehensive view it gives of both those facing battle and those at home with very little idea of the reality of what their loved ones are facing. There was an acute sense of fear throughout the tale which was very well created, and it's clear that author Jon Bebbington used both accurate research and strong personal memories to build the tale. The narrative often feels like a memoir, contributing to that powerful, nostalgic sense of realism, and the details given of the battlefield are not so graphic that this book couldn’t be read by all ages who are curious about the real experiences of people in the Great War. Overall, Rawhead is an important and engaging piece of historical fiction.