Aug 09

In the World’s Shadows By Christopher Hamilton | Recommended Books

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In the world's shadowsSYNOPSIS

In the World’s Shadows is a testimony to the redemptive power of love, creating hope in the bleakest of times.   It follows Christopher’s life, from a young child in colonial India, who moves with his glamorous mother to South Africa during World War II.  After she gets involved with a domineering, heavy drinking businessman, Christopher is packed off to England, to boarding school and a father he can’t even remember, a father whose lack of warmth stems from his own suffering in fighting against the Japanese in Burma and taking the surrender of the Japs at Kuala Lumpar in 1945.

While telling the story of a family, the book sets their individual tragedies (and comedies) in the context of momentous events of the 20th century. It is told through people who lived with the tribulations wrought by the abhorrent evils of World War II and of Apartheid. It is largely a story of South Africa, recognising Mandela’s tortuous path to freedom for his beliefs. It shows the suffering of the black peoples, but also the dedication of some whites, such as Christopher’s Aunt Babs, in working to support them in their quest for survival and freedom.

In England, Christopher hungers for his beloved South Africa, his family, the farm he knew.

Eventually he does return, bereft after the loss of his beloved wife, Anne, taken by a crippling illness. He must now attempt to find a new path through life, alone.  His desperate grief leads him to take many wrong turns, but family and friends – not least Aunt Babs, now a nun, offer Christopher a glimpse of a less troubled, more bearable, future. Finding inner strength, he is able to offer support to Sarah, a woman trapped in her own unhappy world, and they build a new life together – not a “happy ever after” ending but a loving relationship that makes life worth living.

The book is an unflinching record of human cruelty and frailty, but also of resilience, love and the ultimate victory of hope over despair.


The novel is an easy read, with writing that creates vivid pictures of various places and people depicted. It movingly describes quite a lot of suffering, directly through the experience of Christopher as he grows up, and indirectly through the background of war, apartheid and debilitating illness. However, it is not a depressing read, but is a book of hope and faith and humour.

Pauline Ashall’s review on Goodreads

When I read the Synopsis of “In the World’s Shadows” by Christopher Hamilton I immediately wanted to buy a copy. I was not disappointed. The novel is well written with an easy style. It is a very moving story and whilst if depicts the suffering and grief of a young boy growing up in different continents, it is a story full of hope, love and comedy with a “Happy Ever After” ending.                                                                                                       It was an amazing book which I couldn’t put down. When my grandfather read the book for a second time he said it was even better than the first.

Tori Burman’s review on Amazon

The Synopsis and Preface are a great beginning to a story that gripped me more as I kept turning the pages. I found tit compulsive and comfortable reading. Very soon I had a good knowledge of the real characters from saint to sinner, sending out a message of cruelty, despair, love and hope. The novel depicts the suffering and grief. It is also a story full of hope, passion, love and comedy, with a “Happy Ever After” ending. The author paints a picture as vivid as any film. My family and friends will be buying the book at the Launch Party on July 19th in Bath.

George Morgan’s review on Austin Macauley (publisher)


“In the World’s Shadows” author Christopher Hamilton (nom de plume for Chris Doveton-Gerty) is published by Austin Macauley and is out now.

The book will be available in Hardback (ISBN 9781787108226) Paperback (ISBN 9781787108219) E-Book (ISBN 9781787108233)