THE Second World War is perhaps a surprising subject for a 20-year-old to write a book about, but a talented and insightful young author from Knaphill has based her debut novel on just that.
In Soldier Chess Aimee Pattenden reveals a sensitivity and maturity beyond her years as the story unfolds an emotional rollercoaster involving the abomination of war and, poignantly, brutally brings to light the horrific aftermath in a young soldier’s mind when ‘the terrifying silence of peace sets in’.
Aimee, who lives in Highclere Gardens, studied History at The Winston Churchill School in St Johns, before delving into Ancient History at Woking College.
She told the News & Mail: “The story is about a young American solider who comes to war during the D-Day invasions of Normandy, and about the close-knit band of brothers he finds.
“It’s as much about this soldier’s experiences as it is about the brotherhood found and cherished and, as is often the case with the realities of war, sometimes lost during the whole chaotic storm of it all.
“But I think the book is different and unique in its own right compared to other historical or military fiction, in the sense that you don’t just stay on the battlefield, you follow the character home.
“Then, of course, he has to face the difficulties of trying to shed the coil of being a soldier and again becoming the man he once was.
“There’s the struggle of trying to fit back into a society that seems as if it has moved on without him, when all he has known over the years is fighting and killing.
“It involves trying to forget the war and the things the soldier has seen, and the traumatic consequences that prey on a man’s mind.”
So what is next on Aimee Pattenden’s creative countdown? She says: “I have quite a few ideas, actually, that I am penning at the moment. Let’s just say that one of these happens to involve the First World War…”