a parachute in the lime tree
April 1941. German bombers are in the air, about to attack Belfast. Oskar is a Luftwaffe conscript whose sweetheart, Elsa, was forced to flee Berlin for Ireland two years before. War-weary, he longs for escape.
In remote Dunkerin, Kitty awakes to find a parachute trapped in one of the lime trees. When she discovers Oskar, injured and foraging for food in her kitchen, he becomes a rare and exciting secret.
But Ireland during the 'Emergency' is an uneasy place, and word of the parachute soon spreads. Meanwhile, Elsa is haunted by the plight of the parents she left behind. With the threat of Nazi invasion, she feels far from secure.
A chance encounter with Elsa, and Charlie, a young medical student, finds himself falling in love. Oskar, Kitty, Elsa, Charlie. Their lives intertwine in a climate of war, exile, and ever-uncertain neutrality.
"…wholly ensnared my attention from the opening sentence...Tension radiates from each page.... An epic love story which will transport you into another world, engage your emotions and still haunt you long after you have finished it."
KELLIE CHAMBERS - ULSTER TATLER
"We get right inside the heads of each character. She does this effortlessly, switching from character to character with elegant ease. And she can write. This is a literary novel. Beautiful descriptions fill each page."
SHEILA BUGLER - WORDS WITH JAM
"...A beautifully written romantic page turner, which throws new light onto Ireland's Emergency".
SUE LEONARD - IRISH EXAMINER
"...Neary's work is a delightful read. She plays language like an instrument, lilting Irish brogue singing out in a way that never slips over into parody... a poet's touch."
LESLEY MASON - THE BOOKBAG
"...atrocities provide the context for the web of sweet -- and sometimes bittersweet --- love stories that A Parachute in the Lime Tree weaves... empathetic Emergency romance."
MARY SHINE THOMPSON - IRISH INDEPENDENT
"The writing is lyrical and beautiful. There is sadness, separation and anxiety, but also powerful love, belief and determination against the odds...powerfully evocative of place and time. I would certainly read more writing by this author."
LINDSAY HEALY - THE LITTLE READER LIBRARY
"Neary is a wonderful writer. She writes simply, yet beautifully, and gives the reader a vivid picture of Ireland during the war."
CARRIE KITZMILLER - BOOKS AND MOVIES
"Neary crafts three sympathetic, totally believable characters...This is a story of the crunch point between the fairy tales we want so badly to believe about the world and our place in it, and the reality of life."
GREGORY L. GRAHAM - THE HISTORICAL NOVEL REVIEW
"I absolutely loved this book, especially the characters. They were all believable and brilliantly drawn, and Neary connects them all in a way that never feels forced."
ANNA HORNER - DIARY OF AN ECCENTRIC
"...a very accomplished, very enjoyable and very perceptive debut novel"
ANNE CATER - RANDOM THINGS THROUGH MY LETTERBOX
"It's researched wonderfully well, the voices are authentic, the characters are believable and the plot is simple and intriguing. I did enjoy the expert way in which Neary writes, the dialogue seemed effortless and the descriptions were vivid."
CESCA MAJOR - NOVELICIOUS
"Tense and edgy, beautifully written. I wouldn't be surprised if it gets nominated for a handful of prizes.."
PAUL NORMAN - BOOKS MONTHLY
"The atmosphere, tense and lean, feels hauntingly real, and undercurrents of deep emotion run beneath the surface."
SARAH JOHNSON - READING THE PAST
"an evocative story about enduring love and the impact of war...The ending stayed with me long after I turned the last page. Highly recommended."
MAUREEN BOX - THE BOOKISH MAGPIE
"In this debut novel, Annemarie Neary has written a wartime adventure/love story as poignant and exciting as any I have read so far."
ALEX - THE CHILDRENS' WAR
"I was so caught up in the hypnotic quality of Oskar and Elsa's stories that I found myself reluctant to put it down for even one moment. A truly uplifting read, a story of lost love and redemption."
PETTY WITTER - PEN AND PAPER
"This is a gripping war time love story that demonstrates how war and time change people."
THE LIT BITCH
"Neary excels at conveying each character's hopes and dreams - as well as their desperation at a world turned upside down. A lovely and satisfying ending makes A Parachute in the Lime Tree a novel I will never forget."
COMPASS BOOK RATINGS
"I was completely drawn into the story from the beginning, the characterisation is truly excellent and thanks to some skilful storytelling we get to know Oskar, Elsa, Kitty and Charlie very well."
JO BARTON - ANDJAFFAREADSTOO