British schoolboys doubtless have quite different fantasies nowadays, but for much of the last century most of them liked to imagine themselves leading their friends in guerrilla warfare against the German army. Stephen Grady is probably unique in having lived the fantasy, an experience he recalls in Gardens of Stone. Now he has made his authorial debut at the age of 87 with a book that is thrilling, honest, funny and sad.
Stephen Grady has made his authorial debut at the age of 87 with a book that is thrilling, honest, funny and sad.
His heroism is of the very real kind...vividly recreates , in a simple and unadorned style, life under Nazi occupation.
This is not only a remarkable coming of age story, it is also one of the finest memoirs of the war I have ever read. Stephen Grady brilliantly conveys the journey from childhood adventure to a far more sinister world where the threat of betrayal and torture lurks at every turn. At turns profoundly moving and grippingly tense, this book, like The Railway Man and First Light before it, deserves to become a classic.
A heart breaking, beautifully crafted true story of courage, loss, loneliness and the reality of what it meant to fight the Occupation.
This terrifying and utterly gripping account.
An extraordinary memoir of the journey to manhood unfolding against a backdrop of terror, destruction and stark tragedy. At times charmingly whimsical, at times almost unbearably poignant, Gardens of Stone is the best book I have read about the struggle of seventy years ago - and its haunting legacy - bar none.