It's here! Published on the 14th Feb 2013, Gardens of Stonehas already reached no. 9 on the Sunday Times bestsellers list (3rd March 2013)
This is the book I spent the whole of last year writing, in conjunction with the amazing man whose story it is: Stephen Grady. It is such a relief to see the thing published in hardback at last, with a beautiful cover design from Hodder & Stoughton.
The book is the story of Stephen's wartime exploits, and seeks to evoke life under the Occupation with as much truth and vividness as possible.
The Pont d'Achelles cemetery in Nieppe, where Stephen worked during the German occupation, and dug a cache of weapons and explosives with his friend Marcel.
'Remarkable...extraordinary.' (Libby Purves, BBC Radio 4 Midweek )
'A heart breaking, beautifully crafted true story of courage, loss, loneliness and the reality of what it meant to fight the Occupation.' (Kate Mosse, author of CITADEL )
'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.' (James Holland, author of HELLFIRE )
'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.' (Colonel Tim Collins )
'His heroism is of the very real kind...vividly recreates , in a simple and unadorned style, life under Nazi occupation.' (Sunday Times )
'Stephen Grady has made his authorial debut at the age of 87 with a book that is thrilling, honest, funny and sad.' (Spectator )
'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.' (Spectator )