Review Blog

Sep 09 2008

Blue Skies & Gunfire by K. M. Peyton

cover image

Definitions, 2008. ISBN 978-1862301573
Josie is just about to go off to Art College when war breaks out. Her family decides to send her to stay with family in the country to keep her safe during the Blitz. This means leaving her whole life, including her boyfriend, behind, and going to live with her aunt, uncle and cousin who she barely knows.
Josie finds that away from home, she has more freedom! She finds work in a pub, makes new friends and paints in her spare time. She meets Jumbo, one of the brothers from the 'Big House' where her cousin Maureen cleans, whilst painting by the lake, and begin to go out together. Jumbo lost a leg in the war but is determined that he will recover, learn to walk again, and return to the Air Force to fight. When his older brother Chris is sent to the air force base nearby, Josie falls in love with him instead. The brothers compete for her affection, with the victor disappearing suddenly, presumed dead.
This is a wonderful book, which gives the reader an insight into the complexity and brutality of war. The behaviour and attitude of the young pilots is extraordinarily matter of fact, with them living each day as it comes, never knowing if they will be around for the next. A wonderful, thought provoking book, with an unexpected 'twist' at the end.
Nikki Heath

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