The adventures of Oscar, the cat, are based on the legend of a ship’s mascot during World War II. As the great new German battleship, Bismarck, is built, launched and commissioned, Oscar is there to witness it all. The cat speaks in his own voice throughout the book describing life aboard the wartime battleship, the battles at sea and the fate of his friends. He also describes his own personal challenge to outwit, hunt and capture an elusive, sneaky, gray rat with little black ears.
BLOG TOUR REVIEW
Review for 'Oscar Of The Bismark' by Frances Evan.
Read and reviewed for Frances Evan, Blossom Spring Publishing and Zooloo's Book Tours.
Publication date 9th December 2020.
This is the first book I have read by this author.
I was originally drawn to this book by its eye catching cover, its intriguing synopsis and title and the fact that narrated from a cats point of view. I must admit I was also biased due to the publisher being Blossom Spring Publishing. I have yet to read a book published by Blossom Spring Publishing that I haven't enjoyed. Hopefully this won't be the first... Watch this space! (Written before I started reading the book).
This novel consists of 12 chapters and an epilogue. The chapters are short in length so possible to read 'just one more chapter' before bed...OK, I know yeah right, but still just in case!
This book is based on the German warship, Bismarck, as well as several British ships during World War II.
This book is written in a mix of first and third person perspective and the main protagonists are Oscar and Steffan. The benefits of books written in first person perspective are as long as they are well written it makes you feel that you are being spoken to by the protagonist and it can create more of a bond between yourselves and them. If there are several protagonists you also get to see more of what is going on. The benefits of third person perspective with multiple protagonists are that it let's you see the bigger picture of what's going on and you get to know more characters more, what they are thinking and what they are doing. It feels like you get to see the whole picture and not miss out in anything. To have the benefit of both first and third person perspective ensures you don't miss out on anything.
I have never heard of the 'Bismark' before but always have been fascinated with history so when I came across this book which also featured Oscar the cat, considering I run Golden Oldies cat rescue and hospice, I just had to read it!!! This book is filled with so much intriguing history and although the realism of Oscar ever existing is questionable Frances has done an absolutely fantastic job researching Bismark and its history which absolutely shines through the storyline. A huge well done to Frances on this as its one of my pet hates when an author doesn't do enough research on what they are writing about and the story gets littered with unnecessary mistakes. I absolutely adored following Oscar on his adventure through time and over seas as he sees battle after battle and meets the crew of several different ships on his journey. I read this to my 10 year old son who also enjoyed reading it and listening to the story with me. The storyline is filled with tension, fear, happiness joy, heartbreak, sadness war, friendship, humour, bravery and so much more!! The vivid descriptions will have you smelling the sea air and feeling the sea water on your skin. The history of the Bismark is presented to the reader in an intriguing storyline that is easy to understand woven between Oscar's tail, I mean tale, perfectly! It is a great book for young adults and children alike from the age of about (a mature) 10 to 110!
The fact that this book is partly told from Oscar's perspective makes it unique but the other thing that I found unique is that it is told from the perspective of the Germans during wartime which is not something I have seen much of at all. I absolutely adored the relationship and bond between Oscar and Steffan and also Oscar and Otto, his friends and chef. I was heartbroken by a certain event but I won't say more than that as I don't want to spoil it for future readers. Frances has included a section on 'Featered Ships' at the end of this book so make sure you read all the way to the end. This section is absolutely fascinating and she explains the history and what happened to more than 20 ships that featured in the storyline. I also found the authors notes intriguing so ensure you read those as it explains more about where she got her information from and about Oscar.
This book is an enjoyable and quick read that you will not want to put down and is perfect for animal and history lovers alike!!
Overall an intriguing and enjoyable book that is perfect for anyone who loves history and animals!!
Genres covered in this novel include Spiritual & Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction and Animal Fiction amongst others.
This book is just £2.50 on kindle and £7.65 in paperback (at time of review) via Amazon which I think is an absolute bargain for this book!!!
Rated 4/5 (I enjoyed it ) on Goodreads, Instagram, Amazon UK and Amazon US and on over 30 Facebook pages plus my blog on Facebook.
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About the Author
England was my childhood home. I emigrated to the U.S. with my family at the age of thirteen. Although I have long since become a naturalized American citizen, I retain a great love and respect for my homeland. My writing career began when I worked as an education coordinator for a non-profit seaport association in Norwalk, Connecticut. The association offered field trips at its facility for pre-school and elementary school children and introduced the nautical topic of the day with a story told in an entertaining and creative manner. My associate and I often found it difficult to find stories suitable for our needs and so I began to write them myself. My original stories were well received and highly praised by students, teacher and parents attending our program. I became more and more comfortable, confident and excited about writing. My love of history and the mysterious find of a vintage American flag stuffed in the attic rafters of our revolutionary war era farmhouse inspired me to write a story of historical fiction for older children. I wanted to explain the reason that the flag was hidden in the attic and began researching the records, documents and written accounts of Fairfield, Connecticut during the Revolutionary War. I wove my fictitious story into the town’s history keeping the historical characters, dates and events as accurate as possible. The Forgotten Flag is my first published work. It is currently used in several school districts in Connecticut as part of their Revolutionary War curriculum and I am invited each year to visit several classrooms to discuss the book. Historical fiction is my favorite genre. I appreciate it as a tool that can be utilized to enhance actual personalities and events of the past. It can create a deeper understanding of the passions of the time period and a better explanation for decisions and behaviors of individuals living at the time. I have completed several works, The Brass Bell (middle readers,) The Curse of the Shark’s Tooth (young adult,) and St. Katharine’s Dock (adult.) These are available at Amazon.com. Most recently I have completed Oscar of the Bismarck for young adults which takes place during World War II. I currently reside in Stratford, Connecticut with my husband and work at Staples High School in Westport, Connecticut in the Social Studies and English Departments.