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In an epic novel set during World War II, a young British woman searches for love and her true identity.

-Kirkus Review


The author writes with clarity and a deep empathy for his protagonist. Fans of historical fiction will be thoroughly entertained by this moving novel.

-US Review of Books




The author does well with Elizabeth, in particular, creating a nuanced character who undergoes a believable transformation from casual opponent to fervent abolitionist.

Kirkus Review


With its intelligent prose, A Fisher of Slaves will not disappoint historical fiction fans who gravitate to Hornblower-style storytelling with a touch of  Georgian-era romance.

-Foreword Clarion 4 STARS REVIEW


Parsons’ characters are nuanced and credible, unlike the cutouts found in historical novels that focus more on the action than the players. The author has a keen ear for dialect, but doesn’t overdo it so that it becomes distracting, and the writing is crisp and readable, moving at a steady pace. Once past the initial hurdle, it’s smooth sailing for anyone who appreciates a good yarn.

-BlueInk Review


Parsons writes with an obvious depth of knowledge regarding sailing and seamanship of the time. His colorful descriptions of exotic locales create vibrant word paintings. He imbues his characters with traits and behaviors that help them spring to life on the page. He even manages to weave a love story into this high-seas adventure. Readers who enjoy a compelling tale, deftly told, will likely find this journey into centuries past worth the trip.




Written in an overall friendly and informative tone, New Zealand; A Personal Discovery starts with an introduction to the country by way of explaining the detailed history of the discovery of New Zealand, its peoples (the Maori) as well as the often exploitative development of the country. Albeit, while the general nature of the book is an autobiographical narrative, this book reads more like a well-developed travelogue which includes a comprehensive history and facts which incites the readers’ curiosity.

In the first chapter, Parsons sets out from Britain with his wife Anne, on a personal quest to live out his longstanding desire to visit and tour around the north and south islands of New Zealand, seeking new experiences and all that encompasses the beauty and majesty of New Zealand. Sequentially, each subsequent chapter brings his adventures in each colorful locale into expansive focus;  he  includes  a  wealth  of  information  including  background  history, modern life, population and local wildlife. His first stop lands him in the largest city in New Zealand; the City of Sails, Auckland, which is the largest city as well as having the highest degree of cultural integration. Parsons notes not only the major sites in the area like the well-known One Tree Hill, located on the summit of  an  extinct volcano,  he  also  notes  lesser  known  monuments,  businesses, parks and he even explores relevant local politics.

Moreover, aside from finding the whole book to be a pleasurable read. I also enjoyed the pervading sense of adventure and wonder that permeated the book as it made you want to go on your own journey of discovery, especially when he describes the breathtaking panoramic views from volcano cones.

Conclusively, New Zealand; A Personal Discovery made for a great, well-written read. The author’s thoughts and perspective come through with lucid clarity. Overall, Dick Parsons made visiting New Zealand a vicarious possibility with this book that deepens the readers’ knowledge and appreciation of the stunning venue which is New Zealand. He included many photos; I found myself wanting to observe additional photos, to expand my reading experience and distributed these throughout the book. Notwithstanding the photo issue, this book was a great read and I do recommend it to all those interested in traveling, whether it be from a chair or in person.



Thus this sleeping land… was moulded by exploitation, wars and the gospel into this beautiful and productive land we were about to explore.“

Starting with prehistoric times and moving seamlessly to present day, Parsons paints a vivid picture of the three islands that make up New Zealand. The gorgeous green valleys, lovely volcanoes, and panoramic ocean views are well worth the trip. But if a trip to this beautiful country isn’t in the cards for you, then Parsons’ book is the next best thing. Parsons writes with an enchantingly mischievous tone that makes the book a joy to read. Whether he’s writing about a disappointingly modern ferry, the Lynx, or about the tendency of buildings to be moved from one side of the road to the other, Parsons’ writing style makes every adventure intriguing.

His travel book escorts readers from Auckland—which has a fantastic view of the volcano Rangitoto—to Christchurch and many places in between. Along the way, the author points to some interesting parallels between New Zealand and his own native United Kingdom, including the historical significance of railway travel. The birth of New Zealand’s railway in the latter half of the 19th century was particularly important, as the country’s topography made other modes of travel challenging.

Throughout the entire book, readers are treated to numerous intriguing snapshots of historical and cultural information, chief among them being the roots of the native Maoris and the adventures of Captain James Cook. Captain Cook was a famous British explorer and cartographer who roamed the seas during the 18th century. The first recorded circumnavigation of this country and the first known European contact with eastern Australia are among his most well-known accomplishments. Any reader who has even a passing interest in years gone by will find this work of historical tourism to be a well- researched and entertaining read.


This is the story of a German family’s trials and tribulations in the 1930s when Hitler first became chancellor. Their lives are quickly thrown into an upheaval when Hitler targets German Jews and prohibits mixed marriages, as Golda Boddenburg is Jewish and her husband, Klaus Boddenburg is Catholic and they have two high school aged children.

The author does a masterful job of capturing the reader’s attention and inspiring a quick devotion to the wellbeing of each of the family members. The readers will learn a lot about an important period in world history through the day-to-day realistic struggles of the parents who want desperately to protect their children, as the treatment of Jewish citizens quickly goes from bad to worse under Hitler’s influence.

Dick Parsons is an excellent writer and storyteller who involves the reader in the dramatic and emotional story aptly named A Family Divided. The reader will gain a deeper understanding of the progressive harm the Jewish population suffered at the hands of Hitler which began by turning neighbors and school mates against each other, boycotting Jewish businesses, then expelling families from their homes and tearing apart communities.

There is an interesting additional storyline which educates the readers about the use of airplanes in WWII. Klaus Boddenburg is a well-respected airplane designer and engineer who gets involved in building warplanes for Hitler’s air force. It is complicated because of his Jewish wife and children and they all live in fear they will be exposed and killed. Mr. Parsons is very knowledgeable about planes used during the war and the process for manufacturing and testing them, this adds a strong element of suspense to the story.

This book is appropriate for all ages. It is an important read for the young and old because it is a good example of how hatred grows and spreads and becomes uncontrollable. This book would be a good companion for students learning about world history in school. I have been exposed to many books about Nazi Germany before, but this felt as if it is a more personal account of what it was truly like for families. I gained valuable insight about what families went through. I had never thought of what it must have been like to have neighbors turn against each other through the spread of senseless propaganda.

I like the inclusion of the glossary of terms. However, as the reader I would prefer that it be at the end of the book or in the middle rather than in the beginning. A Family Divided will keep readers wondering what will happen next. As Golda and Klaus Boddenburg struggle to send their children to safety, their own futures become less certain when they are forced to relocate and hide their mixed heritage at great risk. I highly recommend this book to people who love WWII fiction and coming of age, my two favorite genres.


“Golda shut her eyes in horror. That form when completed would reveal Hedwig’s Jewish ancestry and their attempt to pose as Christians would be uncovered.”

Parsons novel is a harrowing chronicle of what it was like for one Jewish family in Germany before and during World War II. It is an emotionally compelling book that not only contains a riveting narrative but also well-researched information about the machinery of war that led to enormous loss of life throughout Europe and across the Atlantic during that period.

Klaus is a German gentile married to Golda, a Jew. As Hitler and the Nazis gain more power, Jews are systematically excluded from society and subjected to harsh and inhumane treatment. Klaus’s occupation as a much-in-demand aircraft designer shields them temporarily, but he sees the horror that is coming and knows he must do something to save their children. Moving to another city and masquerading as Christians, the couple attempts to secure their son’s passage to Palestine and have their daughter accepted by Kinderstransport, a British Government program funding the transport of Jewish children to foster homes in England. As war begins the questions mount. Will Klaus’s secret be found out? Can a family rent asunder ever be united? And who, if anyone, will survive the coming maelstrom?

Parsons is an able storyteller who weaves his tale with equal helpings of pathos and history. A degree of repetitiveness occasionally restrains his pace in the book, but not enough to blunt the searing emotional impact of one family’s valiant effort to survive. The author recounts, often in copious detail, insights into German aircraft, the London bombings, U-boat warfare, and more. Yet he never loses sight of the human beings at the heart of his narrative. Their individual bouts with fear, love, and loss, are painstakingly rendered.

Dick Parsons

Dick Parsons