My friend Carole from church lent me this book as a holiday read [That is ‘Carole V’ not ‘Carole A of the Knitting Pattern’– our church has more carols than the Village School’s Christmas Assembly!]
A ‘one-off’ from A Mc-S, the No 1 Ladies Detective Agency author. It is set in sleepy Suffolk during WW2, and tells the story of La [short for Lavender] – a young woman who moves there.
It is sweetly written, describing beautifully the life of the area where La lives, and how the people [both locals, and those at the nearby RAF base] cope with the War.
La does not need paid employment – but helps a local farmer with his chickens as her ‘War Work’. She meets Feliks, a Polish airman, grounded following an accident, who also works on the farm. The book is about the relationship between La and Feliks, and also how La starts an amateur orchestra, to make music and to help build community spirit.
I did enjoy the book [although you do have to read past half way to get to the Orchestra!] but towards the end, I felt the plot lost its way a little. I suddenly found that I really didn’t care anymore what happened to the characters! As usual, A Mc-S tries to tie up the ends tidily, but I am not sure I was happy with the neat little bow he produced! I think I’d give this a score of 4 out of 5 – but thank you Carole, it is just the right sort of gentle holiday read when one is sitting in a quiet Norfolk village.
Ironically, the nearby RAF base has been deploying Tornado jets to bomb Libya this week, and I too have watched warplanes flying overhead in the wide East Anglian skies.
When will they ever learn…?