Hello, Sunshines, I have the huge pleasure to be today’s stop on the brilliant blog tour for; Clouds of Love and War by Rachel Billington. I can’t wait to share my review of the compelling book with you all, I hope you love it as much as I do.
Clouds Of Love And War by Rachel Billington
Genre: Historical Fiction
Format: ebook, paperback
Occasionally panoramic, more often intimate, in Clouds of Love and War author Rachel Billington balances a detailed and highly researched picture of the life of a Second World War Spitfire pilot with the travails and ambitions of a young woman too often on her own. The result is both a gripping story of war and a sensitive story of love, a love that struggles to survive.
Eddie and Eva meet on the eve of the Second World War. Eddie only wants to be a flyer, to find escape in the clouds from his own complicated family. However, the Battle of Britain makes a pilot’s life a dangerous way to flee reality. Eva has her own passionate longing: to become a painter. When Eva’s Jewish mother disappears to Germany, she is left alone with her elderly father. Both Eddie and Eva come of age at a time that teaches them that happiness is always fleeting, but there are things worth living – or dying – for.
Through the connecting stories of these young people and their wider families, and against a background of southern county airfields, London, Oxford, Dorset and France, Rachel Billington brings the world of war time England, now eighty years in the past, back to life.
This is one of those books where you can’t say too much about as there is so much of the plot entangled with Eva and Eddies’ lives and the people they are, it’s actually a hard book to write a review for as there is so much I want to say about it but can’t as I would most likely give away the entire story.
Eddie has flying running through his veins, he is never happier than when he is in his beloved Spitfire swirling and circling the clouds, he has an unrelenting yearning for danger as he propels himself into the skies. But that one love soon has a rival for his affections when he meets Eva, a painter who is at times lost in her own thoughts as she has her head in those very clouds Eddie loves so much. There is so much soul searching and self-discovery for both Eva and Eddie, I think they are both lonely and very solitary creatures, which are drawn together in this turbulent world where the war has taken hold and there is so much uncertainty. There is a sweetness to them that is so beautifully captured, the overall book the flawless writing brings these two compelling and intricate personalities to life.
This is such a different take on the traditional WW2 set novel, there is an ethereal feel to it when reading you feel as though you are swirling amongst those very clouds that are so important to the overall plot. The writing is flawlessly vivid, it’s richly textured and detailed, you are transported right back to the war. You experience everything that Eddie and Eva do as though you were living the story right beside them.
This is a beautiful, compelling and stunning portrayal of what life was really like during the early years of WW2, and highly recommend for all historical fiction fans and those who love this era.
About the Author
Rachel Billington worked in television in London and New York before taking up full-time writing in 1968. Her first novel All Things Nice was set in sixties New York. Her latest novel for adults is Clouds of Love and War, about a Spitfire pilot in the Second World War and the girl who falls in love with him.
Rachel Billington has written twenty three novels, one novella, several books for children, and three non-fiction books.
She has also written and continues to write journalism for newspapers both in the UK and the US, including a three year stint as a columnist for The Sunday Telegraph.
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