Divided Loyalty

By

Cecelia is a young woman in wartime England who lives on a farm and works in an office in the nearby town. Her boyfriend, Mat, and her brother, Ed, are aircrew in the same bomber flying missions over Germany. Mat is brave and resolute; Ed is brave but has a crisis of conscience about bombing civilians. Mat fears that Ed is undermining morale. Cecelia stands up for her brother at the risk of a break with Mat, although privately she wishes Ed would ‘get help’.

The dilemma is resolved when Ed takes the controls of his stricken bomber after Mat and the others have bailed out. He ditches the plane and loses his leg but at least exits flying duties as a hero. Mat makes it home and marries Cecelia.

That ostensibly is the main plot of the book. However one gets the impression that the author is more interested in the various sub-plots about Cecelia’s family, the farm and the office. She certainly gives them more space than the aircrew sequences and handles them better. There is more emotional tension on the farm than in the bomber. Frustratingly, the sub-plots are left largely unresolved when the book ends with Cecelia’s wedding.

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12 of the best stories selected from the 2012 Historical Novel Society Short Story Award

Details

Publisher

Published

Genre

Period

Century

Price
(UK) £19.99

ISBN
(UK) 9780719811562

Format
Hardback

Pages
224

Review

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