The Watcher by Monika Jephcott Thomas #Blog Tour @AuthorightUKPR

Firstly I wish to thank Rachel Gilbey and Authoright for inviting me to be part of this Blog Tour for THE WATCHER by Monika Jephcott Thomas



It’s 1949 when Netta’s father Max is released from a Siberian POW camp and returns to his home in occupied Germany. But he is not the man the little girl is expecting – the brave, handsome doctor her mother Erika told her stories of. Erika too struggles to reconcile this withdrawn, volatile figure with the husband she knew and loved before, and, as she strives to break through the wall Max has built around himself, Netta is both frightened and jealous of this interloper in the previously cosy household she shared with her mother and doting grandparents. Now, if family life isn’t tough enough, it is about to get even tougher, when a murder sparks a police investigation, which begins to unearth dark secrets they all hoped had been forgotten.

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This is a story about the after effects of WW2 on a family living in occupied Germany in 1949. I had to keep reminding myself that the story was about a German family because what it does do is make you realise that we are all people, not two different sides. Just ordinary people who were expected to fight for their country. The devastating physical and emotional damage on these men and woman was the same no matter which side they fought on.

This story tells of the struggles of a family coming back together when it is all over and how much it is like trying to fit a round peg into a square hole. War changed everyone and everything. Max a confident doctor and loving husband before he went to war had returned a broken man after being a POW in a camp run by the Russians in Siberia. He couldn’t speak of the horrors he had witnessed or how he believed it was a punishment for what his own country had done in the war. Not only that, there was a stranger in his house, in fact a stranger sleeping in his bedroom that he shared with his wife. Netta was his little daughter that he hadn’t seen growing up.

Netta didn’t really like this strange man that she was told was her father. He had made her life change so much since he had come to live with them. Netta under nourished because of an eating disorder is sent away to help improve her health. I must admit I see her as a tiny little thing but boy has she got some guts about her. She stands up to what she believes is just but suffers the consequences of her actions. I really liked this feisty little girl who took notice of more than she was given credit for.

Erika, mum had found comfort with someone else as the war had gone on but when she ended things he didn’t go quietly  which left her exposed and a bitter taste with the in-laws she lived with.  When he began to court their house keeper, it stirred emotions in a lot of the house hold. The house keeper is subsequently found murdered and an investigating begins to find out who is responsible.

This is a cracking story with everyone playing their cards close their chests a lot of the time. Flash backs by them all tell of how life had been for them through the war years. This little family faced so many tragic moments, I really wanted everything to work out for them. I loved Monika’s writing that switched naturally between all the people in the story. A very memorable book that I really loved.



About the author: Monika Jephcott Thomas grew up in Dortmund Mengede, north-west Germany. She moved to the UK in 1966, enjoying a thirty year career in education before retraining as a therapist. Along with her partner Jeff she established the Academy of Play & Child Psychotherapy in order to support the twenty per cent of children who have emotional, behavioural, social and mental health problems by using play and the creative Arts. A founder member of Play Therapy UK, Jephcott Thomas was elected President of Play Therapy International in 2002. In 2016 her first book Fifteen Words was published.

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