Joss Lambert has always been a loner, constrained by a secret from his past, until he finds friendship and solace firstly with Guy Liddell, a friend from school, and then with Guy's family, who welcome him into their farmhouse home. Joss increasingly comes to depend upon the Liddells and treats Alvesdon Farm as the one place where he feels not only appreciated but also truly happy. But in late 1930s England, the idyll cannot last. With war looming, Joss is forced to confront the past. He escapes through flying, becoming a fighter pilot in the RAF. But with the onset of war, even the Liddells' world is crumbling. As Joss is fighting for his life in the Battle of Britain, so he begins to fall madly in love with Stella - Guy's twin - but with tragic consequences. Leaving England and the Liddells far behind, he continues to fly amid the sand and heat of North Africa's deserts, flying above the 'Desert Rats' of the 8th Army, until his hopes and dreams are seemingly shattered for good...
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(198mm x 129mm x 31mm)
Arrow Books Ltd
Country of Publication:
UK Kirkus Review »
Gosh, that's torn it! It's 1939 and the Hun is on the march! Sporting his stiffest upper lip, fighter pilot Joss Lambert waves goodbye to love of his life Stella and the verdant pastures of Wiltshire, and climbs into his tiny cockpit to soar into the burning blue to blast damn Jerry to kingdom come. Oh the infernal heat of North Africa making a chap sweat buckets. Oh the pesky desert flies incessantly crawling over a chap's grub. Oh the awful stench of a chap's burning flesh when the engine's hit and he's engulfed in flames. And then - dash it all! - a letter from Stella. 'I'm so sorry, but I cannot go on like this worrying about you constantly, not knowing whether you are alive or dead. It's eating me away. I thought I was stronger...' Damn these women - never could understand a chap's duty to his country! James Holland's novel is a perfect yarn for readers who like characters who conform to stereotypes - in this case presumably gleaned from British war films of the fifties. Sorry, chaps, but not my cup of tea. (Kirkus UK)
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Author Biography - James Holland
James Holland was born in Salisbury, Wiltshire, and studied history at Durham University. He has worked for several London publishing houses and has also written for a number of national newspapers and magazines. He is also the author of a work of history and top ten bestseller, Fortress Malta: An Island Under Siege, 1940-43, and two previous novels. Married with a son, he lives near Salisbury.