The Long Flight Home
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Inspired by fascinating, true, yet little-known events during World War II, The Long Flight Home is a testament to the power of courage in our darkest hours—a moving, masterfully written story of love and sacrifice. It is September 1940—a year into the war—and as German bombs fall on Britain, fears grow of an impending invasion. Enemy fighter planes blacken the sky around the Epping Forest home of Susan Shepherd and her grandfather, Bertie. After losing her parents to influenza as a child, Susan found comfort in raising homing pigeons with Bertie. All her birds are extraordinary to Susan—loyal, intelligent, beautiful—but none more so than Duchess. Hatched from an egg that Susan incubated in a bowl under her grandfather’s desk lamp, Duchess shares a special bond with Susan and an unusual curiosity about the human world. Thousands of miles away in Buxton, Maine, young crop-duster pilot Ollie Evans decides to join Britain’s Royal Air Force. His quest brings him to Epping and the National Pigeon Service, where Susan is involved in a new, covert mission to air-drop hundreds of homing pigeons in German-occupied France. Many will not survive. Those that do will bring home crucial information. Soon a friendship between Ollie and Susan deepens, but when his plane is downed behind enemy lines, both know how remote the chances of reunion must be. Yet Duchess will become an unexpected lifeline, relaying messages between Susan and Ollie as war rages on—and proving, at last, that hope is never truly lost. “Hlad adeptly drives home the devastating civilian cost of the war.” —Booklist
Inspired by fascinating, true, yet little-known events during World War II, The Long Flight Home is a testament to the power of courage in our darkest hours--a moving, masterfully written story of love and sacrifice. It is September 1940--a year into the war--and as German bombs fall on Britain, fears grow of an impending invasion. Enemy fighter planes blacken the sky around the Epping Forest home of Susan Shepherd and her grandfather, Bertie. After losing her parents to influenza as a child, Susan found comfort in raising homing pigeons with Bertie. All her birds are extraordinary to Susan--loyal, intelligent, beautiful--but none more so than Duchess. Hatched from an egg that Susan incubated in a bowl under her grandfather's desk lamp, Duchess shares a special bond with Susan and an unusual curiosity about the human world. Thousands of miles away in Buxton, Maine, young crop-duster pilot Ollie Evans decides to join Britain's Royal Air Force. His quest brings him to Epping and the National Pigeon Service, where Susan is involved in a new, covert mission to air-drop hundreds of homing pigeons in German-occupied France. Many will not survive. Those that do will bring home crucial information. Soon a friendship between Ollie and Susan deepens, but when his plane is downed behind enemy lines, both know how remote the chances of reunion must be. Yet Duchess will become an unexpected lifeline, relaying messages between Susan and Ollie as war rages on--and proving, at last, that hope is never truly lost. "Hlad adeptly drives home the devastating civilian cost of the war." --Booklist
A heart-breaking and moving story of love and sacrifice, set against the backdrop of the Blitz. Inspired by true events, and perfect for readers of The Tattooist of Auschwitz, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society and Dear Mrs Bird *** Is love strong enough to survive a war? September 1940. As enemy fighter planes blacken the sky, Susan Shepherd finds comfort at her home in Epping Forest, where she and her grandfather raise homing pigeons. Of all Susan's birds, it's Duchess who is the most extraordinary, and the two share a special bond. Thousands of miles away, Ollie Evans, a young American pilot decides to travel to Britain to join the Royal Air Force. But Ollie doesn't expect his quest to bring him instead to the National Pigeon Service - a covert new operation involving homing pigeons - and to Susan. The National Pigeon Service has a dangerous mission to air-drop hundreds of pigeons into German-occupied France. Despite their growing friendship Ollie and Susan must soon be parted - but will Duchess's devotion and sense of duty prove to be an unexpected lifeline between them? Based on true events, The Long Flight Home is an uplifting and timeless wartime novel, that reminds us how, in times of hardship, hope is never truly lost.
The First World War is over and air mechanic Wally Shiers has promised to return home to his fiancee, Helena Alford. But Wally never reckoned on charismatic fighter pilot Ross Smith, and an invitation to compete in the world's most audacious air race. A £10,000 prize has been offered for the first airmen to fly from England to Australia. Smith is banking on an open-cockpit Vickers Vimy, a biplane with a fuselage that looks ominously like a coffin. And who can resist a hero? Wally writes to Helena to say he won't be home for another year - and the love of his life is left holding her hand-stitched wedding dress ... Using war diaries, letters and Churchill Fellowship research from along the race route, Long Flight Home recreates one of the most important - and largely forgotten - chapters in world aviation history. Lainie Anderson's ambitious and moving novel is told through her narrator, Wally Shiers. The tale spans the decades and crosses the globe, and at his journey's end we're left peering down from an open cockpit on two beacons of truth. There is no heroism without honour. There is no legacy without love.
Nobility. Garden parties. Luxury. Prestige. War breaks out. Merry Hall and its male heirs are now at stake. From the time of William the Conqueror, the Beaumonts have enjoyed the privileges of wealth and position. Their pleasure is to be nothing more than farmers and knights of the realm. Nevertheless, with the dawn of the twentieth century, a stray artillery shell slays the current baronet and Thomas Beaumont finds himself the new incumbent, but with no farming knowledge, his first instinct is to run. However, the family motto reads: Where there is a will there is a way. Sir Thomas finds his way and by the end of the Great War, the future looks brighter for him and his four young sons. Merry Hall is once again safe. AND, then another deadly crisis raises its ugly head! This time it’s not up to Sir Thomas. Can the Beaumont brothers safeguard their legacy and can they honour their ancestors? If you like fast-paced, action packed historical novels, then you will love Peter Rimmer’s Bend with the Wind, a story that will keep you reading long into the night. Its not your traditional WW2 novel but one filled with business, sex, courage and a family with a determination to win no matter what. Buy today the unmissable Bend with the Wind!
'The knives are out for you, always. But that is the mission you accepted, David. So you have to face the knives, with fortitude. Just as we ask of the great British public...' As Home Secretary in Her Majesty's Government, David Blaylock's daily work involves the control of Britain's borders, the oversight of her police force, and the struggle against domestic terror threats. Some say the job is impossible; Blaylock insists he is tough enough. But around Westminster the gossip-mongers say his fiery temper is a liability. An ex-soldier from a modest background, Blaylock has a life-story that the public respects. Privately, though, he carries pain and remorse - over some grievous things he saw in the army, and his estrangement from an ex-wife and three children for whom he still cares. A solitary figure in a high-pressure world, with no place to call home, Blaylock is never sure whom he can trust or whether his decisions are the right ones. Constantly in his mind is the danger of an attack on Britain's streets. But over the course of one fraught autumn Blaylock finds that danger moving menacingly closer to his own person.
Can bitter enemies ever be friends? Harry Brigandshaw is presumed dead, missing in the wilds of Africa. And Colonial Shipping is stolen. Tina is miserable on Elephant Walk whilst the new generation of Brigandshaws and St Clairs are on the threshold of new beginnings. Young, carefree, full of excitement and eager for success. The Great War is behind them, the world has licked their wounds and a new future beckons. But menacing undercurrents are permeating. There’s talk. The Fourth Estate spinning their stories. Scaremongering. Rumours. Hitler inciting hatred. His power, seductive. Yet the Allies are grinding Germany into the dust but for how long? The Gestapo and the Brownshirts are lurking, raising national pride, waiting to strike. And back in England, the youngsters are living the high life, trying to ignore the gossip. But how can they when all the signs are there for the inevitable? It’s the calm before the storm! The world is on the brink of tears.
The miraculous recovery of a missing favorite son, Marlon Scott, lost in a plane crash with 51 crew members and passengers in the Alaskan Wilderness for more than 60 years...and the resultant closure it brought to one grieving family.
Sarah doesn’t talk to strangers. Aiden won’t shut up. When they find themselves next to each other on a plane, unexpected sparks begin to fly ... - - - Sarah doesn’t talk to strangers. It’s awkward, stressful, and there’s the uncontrollable blushing to worry about. When she boards a plane to fly home after an overseas holiday, she plans to stick her nose in a book and ignore everyone around her. Aiden’s terrified of flying, and it’s his first time on a plane. If he can distract himself by talking non-stop for the entire flight, he will. Too bad for Sarah he’s sitting right next to her.Against all Sarah’s expectations, she ends up enjoying Aiden’s company. They laugh, argue, concoct stories about other passengers, and accidentally hold hands during the turbulence. When the time comes to say goodbye, Sarah can’t help the crazy thought that she shouldn’t let Aiden go. Then he kisses her. And then he’s gone. With her world turning upside down in more ways than one, Sarah has to make a decision: stick with the safe, predictable life that’s been mapped out for her, or find the courage to go after what she truly wants. - - - Nominated as an InD'tale RONE Award Finalist in 2015, The Trouble with Flying is a sweet, clean contemporary romance that can be read as a standalone novel.
A four-year-old girl survives a harrowing escape across the heavily armed border of Czechoslovakia with her mother and brother after the Communist takeover in 1948. The family leaves everything behind to flee to freedom in Canada. Years later, as a young woman living in Toronto, she finds herself drawn to the country of her birth and returns to Prague, along the way finding love, danger, heartbreak, and her family's legacy. Helen Notzl's poignant memoir takes readers on a voyage between two starkly different and conflicting worlds - from affluence and fulfillment in Canada to passion and revolution in Prague. Must she choose between the two? With intense drama, vivid narration, and brilliant detail, Long Journey Home tells the story of a woman's quest for those things that truly matter to all of us: love, family, identity and homeland.
In 1954, in the cookhouse of a logging and sawmill settlement in northern New Hampshire, an anxious twelve-year-old boy mistakes the local constable’s girlfriend for a bear. Both the twelve-year-old and his father become fugitives, forced to run from Coos County—to Boston, to southern Vermont, to Toronto—pursued by the implacable constable. Their lone protector is a fiercely libertarian logger, once a river driver, who befriends them. In a story spanning five decades, Last Night in Twisted River depicts the recent half-century in the United States as “a living replica of Coos County, where lethal hatreds were generally permitted to run their course.” What further distinguishes Last Night in Twisted River is the author’s unmistakable voice—the inimitable voice of an accomplished storyteller.
Against the backdrop of an elegant Cornwall mansion before World War II and a vast continent-spanning canvas during the turbulent war years, this involving story tells of an extraordinary young woman's coming of age, coming to grips with love and sadness, and in every sense of the term, coming home... In 1935, Judith Dunbar is left behind at a British boarding school when her mother and baby sister go off to join her father in Singapore. At Saint Ursula's, her friendship with Loveday Carey-Lewis sweeps her into the privileged, madcap world of the British aristocracy, teaching her about values, friendship, and wealth. But it will be the drama of war, as it wrenches Judith from those she cares about most, that will teach her about courage...and about love. Teeming with marvelous, memorable characters in a novel that is a true masterpiece, Coming Home by Rosamunde Pilcher is a book to be savored, reread, and cherished forever.
#ReadWithJenna Book Club Pick as Featured on Today • A twelve-year-old boy struggles with the worst kind of fame—as the sole survivor of a notorious plane crash—in this “stunning novel of courage and connection” (Helen Simonson, bestselling author of Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand). “A rich, big-hearted tapestry that leaves no one behind . . . Ann Napolitano brings clear-eyed compassion to every character.”—Chloe Benjamin, bestselling author of The Immortalists What does it mean not just to survive, but to truly live? One summer morning, twelve-year-old Edward Adler, his beloved older brother, his parents, and 183 other passengers board a flight in Newark headed for Los Angeles. Among them are a Wall Street wunderkind, a young woman coming to terms with an unexpected pregnancy, an injured veteran returning from Afghanistan, a business tycoon, and a free-spirited woman running away from her controlling husband. Halfway across the country, the plane crashes. Edward is the sole survivor. Edward’s story captures the attention of the nation, but he struggles to find a place in a world without his family. He continues to feel that a part of himself has been left in the sky, forever tied to the plane and all of his fellow passengers. But then he makes an unexpected discovery—one that will lead him to the answers of some of life’s most profound questions: When you’ve lost everything, how do you find the strength to put one foot in front of the other? How do you learn to feel safe again? How do you find meaning in your life? Dear Edward is at once a transcendent coming-of-age story, a multidimensional portrait of an unforgettable cast of characters, and a breathtaking illustration of all the ways a broken heart learns to love again. Advance praise for Dear Edward “Dear Edward made me think, nod in recognition, care about its characters, and cry, and you can’t ask more of a novel than that.”—Emma Donoghue, New York Times bestselling author of Room “Weaving past and present into a profoundly beautiful, page-turning story of mystery, loss, and wonder, Dear Edward is a meditation on survival, but more important, it is about carving a life worth living. It is about love and hope and caring for others, and all the transitory moments that bind us together.”—Hannah Tinti, author of The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley and The Good Thief
**Sunday Times Bestseller** **Book of the Week on Radio 4** 'A beautiful book about a part of the modern world which remains genuinely magical’ Mark Haddon 'One of the most constantly fascinating, but consistently under-appreciated aspects of modern life is the business of flying. Mark Vanhoenacker has written the ideal book on the subject: a description of what it’s like to fly by a commercial pilot who is also a master prose stylist and a deeply sensitive human being. This is a man who is at once a technical expert – he flies 747s across continents – and a poet of the skies. This couldn’t be more highly recommended.' Alain de Botton Think back to when you first flew. When you first left the Earth, and travelled high and fast above its turning arc. When you looked down on a new world, captured simply and perfectly through a window fringed with ice. When you descended towards a city, and arrived from the sky as effortlessly as daybreak. In Skyfaring, airline pilot and flight romantic Mark Vanhoenacker shares his irrepressible love of flying, on a journey from day to night, from new ways of mapmaking and the poetry of physics to the names of winds and the nature of clouds. Here, anew, is the simple wonder that remains at the heart of an experience which modern travellers, armchair and otherwise, all too easily take for granted: the transcendent joy of motion, and the remarkable new perspectives that height and distance bestow on everything we love. ‘A beautiful, contemplative book... What Skyfaring gives is something we need: elevation; another perspective... Normally when I find a volume where prose style and subject matter fuse so pleasingly, I tear through it in a day. Here, I found myself pausing on almost every page, as I absorbed its detail or phrasing.’ Nicholas Lezard, Guardian **A 2015 Book of the Year – The Economist, The New York Times, GQ and more**
A stunning story about the Women Airforce Service Pilots whose courage during World War II turned ordinary women into extraordinary heroes 1941. Audrey Coltrane has always wanted to fly. It’s why she implored her father to teach her at the little airfield back home in Texas. It’s why she signed up to train military pilots in Hawaii when the war in Europe began. And it’s why she insists she is not interested in any dream-derailing romantic involvements, even with the disarming Lieutenant James Hart, who fast becomes a friend as treasured as the women she flies with. Then one fateful day, she gets caught in the air over Pearl Harbor just as the bombs begin to fall, and suddenly, nowhere feels safe. To make everything she’s lost count for something, Audrey joins the Women Airforce Service Pilots program. The bonds she forms with her fellow pilots reignite a spark of hope in the face war, and—when James goes missing in action—give Audrey the strength to cross the front lines and fight not only for her country, but for the love she holds so dear. Shining a light on a little-known piece of history, The Flight Girls is a sweeping portrayal of women’s fearlessness, love, and the power of friendship to make us soar.
Seattle, Washington Larkin Bennett has always known her place, whether it's surrounded by her loving family in the lush greenery of the Pacific Northwest or conducting a dusty patrol in Afghanistan. But all of that changed the day tragedy struck her unit and took away everything she held dear. Soon after, Larkin discovers an unexpected treasure—the diary of Emily Wilson, a young woman who disguised herself as a man to fight for the Union in the Civil War. As Larkin struggles to heal, she finds herself drawn deeply into Emily's life and the secrets she kept. Indiana, 1861 The only thing more dangerous to Emily Wilson than a rebel soldier is the risk of her own comrades in the Union Army discovering her secret. But in the minds of her fellow soldiers, if it dresses like a man, swears like a man, and shoots like a man, it must be a man. As the war marches on and takes its terrible toll, Emily begins to question everything she thought she was fighting for.
New York Times Bestseller Milkman Dead was born shortly after a neighborhood eccentric hurled himself off a rooftop in a vain attempt at flight. For the rest of his life he, too, will be trying to fly. With this brilliantly imagined novel, Toni Morrison transfigures the coming-of-age story as audaciously as Saul Bellow or Gabriel García Márquez. As she follows Milkman from his rustbelt city to the place of his family’s origins, Morrison introduces an entire cast of strivers and seeresses, liars and assassins, the inhabitants of a fully realized black world. "You can't go wrong by reading or re-reading the collected works of Toni Morrison. Beloved, Song of Solomon, The Bluest Eye, Sula, everything else — they're transcendent, all of them. You’ll be glad you read them."--Barack Obama