I feel like an unusually large number of the novels I’ve been discussing lately have a military setting, but I suppose that’s not specifically a bad thing. There may well be more coming, too, since my DH has recommended the one he’s currently reading…
This particular novel is set during the first year of WWII, as it had to be for any realism, considering it was published in 1940, and is about a young RAF officer on regular, boring patrol looking for German submarines and other shipping off the English East coast. Between flights he chats up a local barmaid and considers his future RAF career even beyond the current war.
One understaffed day, however, Jerry Chambers, finally sees and sinks his sub, only to get back to base to find there’s a British sub missing and he’s likely responsible…
All in all this is a nice, positive early war novel, before war fatigue had set in. We don’t meet any Germans in person, but they are up to dastardly tricks anyway, and the nobility and honour of our plucky British hero is there to be proven by the simple girl whose heart he’s won.
Class difference in relationships is certainly brought up in this novel, as something that is becoming less important but still has to be overcome, and there is a clear feeling that the war is acting as an equalising force.
- Nevil Shute Reborn (socyberty.com)
- WWII vet receives 7 medals 60 years after service ()
- Four brothers join the same regiment (bbc.co.uk)