Pegasus to Paradise

Rated 4.33/5 based on 12 reviews
Based on a true story, Ted and Florrie were sweethearts who in 1936, married, unaware of the dark rumblings from Europe and the proximity of WWII.Ted returns from war physically unscathed but emotionally damaged and unable to talk to his wife. Will this family survive in post-war England? An ode to the extraordinary efforts of ordinary men and women in WWII and a moving portrait of trauma and love More

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About Michael Tappenden

Michael Tappenden attended Sir Joseph Williamson's Mathematical School in Rochester, England. He achieved post-graduate qualifications, became a member of the Chartered Society of Designers and Principal Lecturer at the University for the Creative Arts. This might seem to be a fairly normal career path but between the first and last he also worked as a gravedigger, gardener, waiter and labourer with a gang of Irish workers. He also served with the Parachute Regiment of the British Army in the deserts of the Middle East and as part of a UN Peacekeeping Force in a civil war in Cyprus. In addition he continued a career as a graphic designer in London Design Consultancies as well as working as an interior designer and photographer. He also now plays the alto sax with far more enjoyment than skill. At the age of seventy, he decided he had probably experienced enough of life to be able to pick up a pen and write.
The reason behind this rather robust CV probably has a genetic connection as his father Ted 'Ham and Jam' Tappenden climbed from the wreckage of a Horsa glider, behind enemy lines, at sixteen minutes past midnight on June 6th 1944, to successfully attack and capture Pegasus Bridge, the first Allied action of D-Day and crucial to its success.

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Pegasus to Paradise
Based on a true story. WW2 hero returns safely to his family, damaged by the horrors he has experienced and unrecognisable as the carefree young man that left to defend his country. Can he and his family survive the demands of post-war Britain? A story of courage and duty, trauma, humour and unbreakable love. Of ordinary people in extraordinary times.

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Reviews

Review by: Steph Coleman on Aug. 29, 2016 :
Holey moley, this book was terrific! Once I started reading I didn’t want to stop until I’d finished the whole thing, but obviously that was impossible because this is one epic tale! It was all I could do though not to rush it… this isn’t a ‘quick-easy beach read” by any stretch, but more like something you sink back with for a while and let it take over your soul. I enjoyed the author’s “voice” and style of writing. The interweaving plotlines were intelligent, well-developed and not predictable, and the historical ‘true life’ angle made it all the more fascinating! I really enjoyed it! The characters were all genuine and interesting in their own right (love Florrie!!) and well-written. This book covers so many topics, yet it all fits well together in a unique blend of war, family, life, and historical drama. The story itself was fairly even-paced, but I thought the beginning was a bit slow personally but then it picked up and flowed well. One thing I particularly liked was how we really felt like we were part of the story as it unfolded, instead of it just being “told” to us, on the outside looking in.. We feel like we are a part of the book and I recommend wholeheartedly for fans of historical romantic/dramatic/action fiction, or anyone who enjoys a riveting, emotionally endearing book that stays with you long after you are done.
(reviewed the day of purchase)
Review by: Nicole Hastings on Aug. 29, 2016 :
okay just a head’s up…when starting “Pegasus to Paradise” by Michael Tappenden make sure you don’t have anywhere you need to be or anything you need to do because you won’t want to stop reading until you’ve finished it all!! Trust me on this! (and it’s pretty long, ha!) The book starts off with an engaging beginning as we get to know Florrie and Ted, and just keeps going from there. The characters are so well-developed and fully fleshed out you feel like you know them personally. I think what I liked the most about this book was just the overall feel the author managed to create where it felt intimate, like a close friend was telling me this really awesome story that I didn’t want to stop listening to. There are some surprising twists and some parts that really catch you off guard – some shocking and some sad… but that just made this true book even more amazing and inspirational. And this is one of the first books I’ve read about WWII and I thought it was really amazing and feels like it opened my eyes to a lot that happened there and how it affected the people in ways I never thought of. Recommend.
(reviewed the day of purchase)
Review by: Essieh on Aug. 26, 2016 :
I really loved this book. I thought it was excellently written and the editing was nearly flawless (not perfect but good enough). It kept my attention from the opening to the satisfying ending. It is *not* a quick read by any stretch… nor should it be. There are too many important events and experiences here to gloss over so the author takes his time in carefully developing the various storylines so that we the readers are thoroughly invested the whole way through. I liked Mr. Tappenden’s writing style very much, beautiful and literary with gorgeous prose and vivid descriptions, and found myself completely lost in this world he recanted night after night (this is all based on a true story and people which makes it even cooler!!). Was almost disappointed when I was done, but the ending gave the emotional satisfaction I look for in a great book. Well done. Recommend to fans of historical nonfiction/memoirs, or anyone who just enjoys an entertaining, well-written (truish) story with lots of heart and soul.
(reviewed the day of purchase)
Review by: Karen Matthews on Aug. 26, 2016 :
"Pegasus to Paradise” by Michael Tappenden is hands down one of the most riveting and well-crafted books I’ve read in a long time! I was completely drawn in from the opening pages, and absolutely loved the author’s use of description of the different characters and attention to historical detail. We feel transported not only into their lives (particularly Ted and Florrie), but their amazing life experiences… and it was a wonderful and eye-opening escape from reality. “Pegasus to Paradise” covers so, so much it’s impossible to sum up, but it felt like I was living through history, and it was interesting to see how it all tied together in the end, which I loved!—And I love even more that this is based on real people! An epic literary feat, to be certain. I was really impressed and would recommend this book with the highest of praise.
(reviewed the day of purchase)
Review by: JohnGoldman on Aug. 26, 2016 :
"Pegasus to Paradise” by Michael Tappenden seems to have something of everything… seriously. Action, romance, drama, politics, struggles, war, humor, and sadness… but I was impressed by the seamless narrative transitions, and while I’m not usually a fan of dense ‘telling’ narrative prose with little dialogue for stretches, it didn’t bother me here much as I enjoyed Mr. Tappenden’s skillful word-play and the way that the characters did a great job of progressing the storyline. Always found myself reading for longer than I planned to, as there was never a good place to just “stop”. This is good too. This book will have wide ranging appeal, and I can see fans of romantic drama and historical fiction (based on real people) gobbling it up.
(reviewed the day of purchase)
Review by: CVasquez50 on Aug. 26, 2016 :
this is an excellent book that captured my attention from the beginning, pulled me in, and never once let go- quite a feat considering how long it is! But I enjoyed every page. Each scene was engaging, imaginative, and flowed smoothly from one to the next… never a “dull part” where you get bored or want to skip ahead… in fact almost the opposite with the various interweaving plotlines and going from one character and event to the next. The descriptions were very strong, and I mean with the author’s word choice… unique and powerful, and with the conversations with the characters. Because of the literary style of the alternating chapter perspectives, I felt like I was genuinely inside the characters’ heads experiencing their version of the world through their eyes, for better or worse. I suspect this may be a one-shot deal from Michael Tappenden based on the subject matter (real people from his family after WWII), but I hope not. I would love to read more from him in the future as he has a natural gift for creating a well-thought out story and bringing memorable characters to life in a profound and impactful way.
(reviewed the day of purchase)
Review by: Claire Middleton on Aug. 23, 2016 :
4.5 stars
I will be the first to admit that “Pegasus to Paradise” wouldn’t be my normal type of read (I’m more of a fantasy and sci-fi gal) but I’ve been wanting to read more out of my comfort zone lately and expand my tastes… the premise and sample looked intriguing so I thought I’d give it a chance. I’d so glad I did! It was far more exciting and emotionally engaging than I would’ve guessed, and I found myself flipping the pages as fast as I could to see what would happen. I was totally wrapped up in the drama and felt sucked into the characters’ lives, (especially Florrie), but I liked how the chapters (sections) showed sp many different perspectives from different characters so we really get a well-rounded view of the whole story as it passes through time. I am not very familiar with WWII other than the main stuff, so it was interesting to have it written in a way that included that perspective and dealing the aftermath on a personal level in a way that is more character driven than a typical war-book, and I learned more about this period in history too! Ha. But honestly I enjoyed this a lot and was really happy with the ending – this book has it all – action, drama, history, conflict, romance… check it out!
(reviewed the day of purchase)
Review by: April Dawn on Aug. 21, 2016 :
to be honest, it took me some time to get into this book, and at first I wasn’t really sure where it was going…after the explosive and intriguing beginning it seemed to sink into a really slow period of narration and backstory that really slowed the pacing for me. But then the more I read the more I got into it, and then by half way I was totally hooked. Mr. Tappenden did a great job at creating some really interesting characters and bringing the past to life in a way where we feel like we really know Florrie and Ted and Oliver (and the others…) and also in keeping us on our toes… some crazy events at the end, and I was so curious to see how it would all work out, but it did. I Loved the ending, and I appreciated that this book wasn’t all flash with no substance – the author touches on some very deep and profound subject matter here that I thought was discussed in a way that was engaging, respectful, but also real…shows a different side of history, if you will. Overall very well done and I’d recommend this without hesitation. Recommended for mature teens on up
(reviewed the day of purchase)
Review by: LauraClarke on Aug. 20, 2016 :
"Pegasus To Paradise” by Michael Tappenden grabbed me from the opening pages and didn’t let go until the very end. It is rare to find a book that keeps my attention all the way through, but this one did. I was totally caught up in the whirlwind of events, and loved the behind the scenes action of the WWII scenes, and how it connected to events in the characters’ lives. Nothing lights my fire more than heart wrenching relationships and great stories about real people, and “Pegasus to Paradise” did not disappoint on either point! If I had some complaints, it was that it was a tad hard to follow at some parts because it almost seemed too fast paced at certain times and I thought some key events or revelations were almost glossed over and lost some emotional impact. There was a fair amount of dense narrative that I think would have been better pared down some (or more fleshed out). Lots of characters seem to come and go without much development, and there is more chit-chat than I like. But it is an interesting voyage through history as seen through the eyes of some extraordinary people (really liked Ted) It could use better proofing (noticed some punctuation errors throughout) but I literally could not put down my Kindle during the last 30% or so and was pleased with the ending. Recommend to fans of the historical drama…heck, for anyone who just enjoys a moving, intelligently-written, and exciting read!
(reviewed the day of purchase)
Review by: James Masters on Aug. 20, 2016 :
3.5 stars
I found myself wavering around a bit while reading “Pegasus to Paradise” by Michael Tappenden. At first I was immediately interested in the story, and became immersed in the interesting world building and complex plot development based on real life historical events and people. But there were times I felt the story wasn’t as focused as I’d like, with some conversations and scenes maybe weren’t necessary and perhaps could have been eliminated to tighten the narrative some. But at the same time, the pacing was steady, and there was pretty much nonstop action and some crazy developments toward the end. It felt fresh and unpredictable, always a nice experience, and it had a certain intelligence and depth that you don’t normally see with many of these types of books, was interesting to see it come full circle. I enjoyed the author’s voice, and was satisfied with the ending. While I enjoyed the characters as well and though they were ‘real’, some of the dialogue felt a bit stiff and at times unnecessary. But overall was an interesting and enlightening book and I feel it actually broadened my perspectives some. I would happily read more from Tappenden in the future.
(reviewed the day of purchase)
Review by: LaylaM1 on Aug. 20, 2016 :
4.5 stars
I had a great time reading “Pegasus to Paradise” by Michael Tappenden. Almost non-stop drama and a fast moving plot kept me on the edge of my seat from start to finish. The writing was excellent, very few errors as far as I could tell which is always a huge plus on my end. I hate sloppy editing! Really enjoyed the real “humanity” angle that helped to shed some light on the relationships of people after the war – so many of these books simply focus on action and battles… and those are here too… but it just has much more of an emotional and relationships. It is profound, provocative and eye-opening, and the way that Tappenden infused them with authentic, flawed characters and a compelling storyline – makes it feel that much more incredible. I was really impressed with the writing style, the solid pacing and strong word choice works well here, and it seems like he’s really done his homework, as the level of historical and technical detailing was certainly impressive. Recommend.
(reviewed the day of purchase)
Review by: Jenna Brewster on Aug. 19, 2016 :
I’m a huge fan of historical fiction/romance and read them all the time. Unfortunately, after a while many of them start to feel the same, like many authors (especially new ones) are using the same recycled plot over and over again. But I like trying out new authors and thought the premise of “Pegasus to Paradise” sounded interesting, and I liked that it had the historical element of WWII England, but was actually based on true lives of real people – so a mix of fact and fiction. But while I fully admit I didn’t have the highest expectations going in…well, consider me blown away! I read “Pegasus to Paradise” in almost a few short nights, quite a feat considering how long it is and that I have no free time! Michael Tappenden is a natural writer, and I was hooked in by the way he weaved so many interesting characters and twisted storylines together to create a wholly addicting story that I couldn’t put down until the final, bittersweet conclusion. It was fast-paced and with snappy dialogue and free from many clichés that riddle this genre. I was curious to see how this would all work out in the end, and I wasn’t at all disappointed. A thought-provoking read that is different from much out there that is beautifully written and professionally executed. Highly recommend for fans of historical fiction.
(reviewed the day of purchase)
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