Another Time and Place
In 1944, Anna Pilgrim falls in love with an American airman, Tom Blake, after a chance meeting in a café. They enjoy a brief affair before he is shot down over France; soon after his departure Anna discovers she is pregnant. Harassed by a dragon of a mother to have the baby adopted or to marry her boss, Mr Morris, Anna’s situation seems bleak. She hangs on to the belief that Tom will return and marry her, but as the months go by, her worries increase as she waits in vain for news of him.
For a first novel this is a brave attempt. It moves along at a fair pace as the narrative switches from Anna to Tom and back. The description of Tom’s capture by the Germans as he tries to make his way back to England is gripping, and the historical background of Bomber Command is well researched, but the social background does not reflect the hardships of ordinary people trying to survive. For instance, it was impossible to drop into a café in 1944 in England and drink wine and coffee, or to buy luxury items of lingerie when one could not even buy a pair of utility branded cotton knickers without the necessary clothing coupons. In spite of these hiccups it is a good story well told, and I am sure that there will be more from this new author.