Week 2 of the 1940s

Have been thinking over this week that a month is going to be too long in some cases, so may have look at revising the length of time for each theme. The 1940s works for this month as I do have plenty of suitable books and movies (must get watching!) I think a month for some topics and a fortnight for others would be better. Anyway, on to the past week where I watched nothing but read three books.

Pied Piper – Nevil Shute (1942)

John Howard is determined to brighten up his old age by taking a fishing trip to France. However, during his stay the Nazis invade and he is forced to try to escape back to England with the two small children of some friends who are forced to stay behind in order to help the Allied war effort. As the conflict grows closer the roads become impassable and Howard also comes across five more children who need his help. He ends up leading this motley group of youngsters through the French countryside, constantly beset by danger yet heroically protecting his charges.

I enjoyed this. Even though from the start you know Howard gets back to England, it’s nice to see how it all unfolds. Howard is just a thoroughly decent man.

No Highway – Nevil Shute (1948)

Theodore Honey is a shy, inconspicous aircraft engineer whose eccentric interests in quantum mechanics and spiritualism are frowned upon in aviation circles. But when a passenger plane crashes in unexplained circumstances, Honey must convince his superiors that his unorthodox theories are correct before more lives are lost.

Some of the technical stuff when over my head a little, but didn’t spoil my enjoyment overall. Likeable characters, some thrilling moments and a little bit of romance.


The Railwayman’s Wife – Ashley Hay. Recently published, set in 1948.

In Thirroul, in 1948, people chase their dreams through the books in the railway’s library. Anikka Lachlan searches for solace after her life is destroyed by a single random act. Roy McKinnon, who found poetry in the mess of war, has lost his words and his hope. Frank Draper is trapped by the guilt of those his treatment and care failed on their first day of freedom. All three struggle with the same question: how now to be alive.

Enjoyed this. Slow moving and melancholy. No quite the happy ending I was hoping for, but worth the read.



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