Holey moley, this book is 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 to not to rush it… this isn’t a ‘quick easy beach read’ by any stretch, 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 together in a unique blend of war, family, life and historical drama. The story itself was fairly even-paced, but personally I thought the beginning was a bit slow 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 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. (5 stars)
(Also the film of the same name which includes the glider sequence at Pegasus Bridge. Ted was approached by the film company who wanted to use his name in the film when the success signal ‘Ham and Jam’ was sent. He declined. Strangely the actor who played Major Howard in the film was Richard Todd who on the night of D-Day dropped with 7 Para to relieve the bridge).
Battle of Britain Day: 15 September 1940 by Dr Alfred Price, published by Greenaway Books.
Includes the account of the Dornier bomber crashing onto Florrie’s neighbours’ houses. In the 1990 edition Florrie is included in the book.
Bringing Mulligan Home: The other side of the good war by Dale Maharidge, published in the USA by Public Affairs.
The story of a son’s mission to understand the post war trauma suffered by his father, an American marine in the Pacific war.
Wartime: Britain 1939-1945 by Juliet Gardiner, published in 2005 by REVIEW an imprint of Headline Book Publishing.
Regeneration/The Ghost Road by Pat Barker, published by Penguin books.
The story of the impact of war during World War I.
Our Hidden Lives by Simon Garfield, published by Ebury Press.
Part of the Mass Observation Project 1945 to 1948. Diaries written by individuals in Britain at that time.
The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath, published by Faber & Faber.
The story of a mental decline.
The Devil’s Own Luck by Dennis Edwards, published by Pen and Sword.
Probably the best book written on the Airborne Ox and Bucks from D-Day to the end of the war. The author took part in the glider borne attack on Pegasus Bridge.
Poetry of the Holocaust by Paul Celan and Janos Pilkinszky
World War Two poetry by Keith Douglas
This Happy Breed (1944) directed by David Lean
The Best Years of Our Lives. Directed by William Wilder (1946)
The work of Robert Capa