Wednesday 30 June 2021

Guest Review: The Cosy Castle on the Loch: Autumn (Book 3) by Alice Ross

This is the third of four short stories in The Cosy Castle on the Loch series. You can read our review of part one here and part two here!

Rory McLeod has a dream – to be a chef. Which is unfortunately a million miles away from his parents’ dream of him running the family accountancy business.
Unable to believe his luck when he’s offered the position of pastry chef at Glenduff Castle, Rory postpones entering the family firm and accepts the job – for one year. A decision which throws his parents’ and his girlfriend’s plans for his future completely off-track. And which, upon meeting a cute little pigtailed artist, completely derails Rory’s own.

Review: This is the third in a series of short stories set in the Scottish highlands, in particular at Glenduff Castle, now a luxury hotel on the shores of Loch Duff. The property houses comfortable bedrooms and welcoming public areas, while castle outbuildings have been converted to add a tearoom serving delicious cakes and a group of artists’ workshops.

This story concerns Rory McLeod, whose wealthy parents expect him to take over running the family accountancy business once his father retires and also to marry what they consider a suitable woman. However, much to their surprise, Rory announces that he has been taking cookery lessons and has accepted a one-year post as pastry chef at Glenduff Castle. There he meets up with artist Liv and her incredibly cute young son. Suddenly Rory is questioning the future that his controlling parents and girlfriend have designed for him.

I am really enjoying this series of short stories. Each of them stands alone, but there are always recurring characters. They are filled with humour as well as more serious moments, and always a generous helping of Scottish scenery. I can recommend this and the other stories in the series; all can be read in a few short hours, but can transport the reader to a different world in that time.

To order your copy now, just click the link: UK or US

Tuesday 29 June 2021

July 2021 TBR: July Reading Recommendations & ALL the Netgalley eBooks!


Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books of Q2


Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

Ok so this is the wrong title for this week but this week is top ten books for the rest of 2021 which is very similar to the books on my summer TBR which I posted 2 weeks ago. You can read that post here but today I will be posting my favourite books from Q2 of 2021. I will be posting a live video over on my BookTube channel on Thursday so make sure you head on over there and subscribe so you don't miss out on that. 

I'll be sharing my picks and also Mum's picks!

Bonus Mentions...

Monday 28 June 2021

Review: Someone I Used To Know by Paige Toon


At fifteen, George is the foster brother Leah never asked for. As the angry, troubled boy struggles to come to terms with his circumstances, Leah finds herself getting drawn closer to him.
Theo’s wealthy family have mysteriously pulled him out of boarding school and he’s now enrolled at the local state school with Leah and George. When their worlds collide that summer, the three teenagers form a bond they believe will be unbreakable. But life doesn’t always go to plan...
Shocking news brings Leah back to Yorkshire, baby daughter in tow. But Emilie’s father Theo isn’t with them, and George has unexpectedly returned. After half a lifetime, have they healed the scars of their pasts? Will coming back home set their hearts in a different direction?

Review: What a wonderful story about family and love in all its forms set in the best possible backdrop of North Yorkshire! I always knew I was going to love the setting of this book but the way this author writes about my home county and the towns where I was born and raised and have worked had me yearning to be there. I cannot wait for the day when I can stand at Brimham Rocks and take in the sights and sounds that George and Leah experience. 

I also adored the structure of this book. I loved getting to meet Leah and Her family, including George and I loved their relationship with Theo too. I could picture them growing up together so easily and spent the now parts of the book trying to work out what had driven them apart and what was in store for them next. The then scenes reminded me a lot of Blood Brothers with the two male leads to one female friendship and I really found the way we jumped back and forth between the then and now to be very compelling. I started this book on Saturday morning and was done listening by the end of Sunday night despite having a busy weekend. 

This book deals with a lot of major issues including children who become part of the care system, fostering, adoption, grief, abuse and alcoholism. There are definitely some care warning that need to be observed with this novel but I will say that all of these topics are dealt with in the most inspiring and sensitive way. I knew I would love the subject of children in care that is explored through George and Leah's world. I even like the fact that we look at the impact on now just the children in questions but those who are already in the foster placement and the impact it has on schools. As a teacher, I always enjoy when there is a nod to the profession in a novel, even if it isn't always in the most positive lights. 

There is so much love at the heart of this book. It is always the centre-point of a Paige Toon novel but this one in particular just spills over with love in the most passionate and life affirming way. It gives me hope and I love to see when love can last over the years whether that is in the romantic sense, the friendship sense or the love of a family. I knew this book would make me homesick and I knew that this book would make me want to look after all the children all the time. I can't wait to get back home and get back in the classroom and make the kind of difference we get to see in this book. 

Final note, I listened to this on audiobook. I was worried that the narrator would use a generic Yorkshire accent or even have. South or West Yorkshire accent but I can confirm that a North Yorkshire accent is used for these characters, even changing to a Harrogate accent as opposed to a Ripon accent in places and so a mention definitely needs to go to the narrator chosen for this novel, it was great to hear!

To order your copy now, just click the link: UK or US

Thursday 24 June 2021

Mid-Year Book Freakout Tag 2021 | Which Books Made Me Cry & Who's My New Favourite Author?


Review: Saving The Day by Katie Fforde

 She has only one chance to turn her life around...

Allie is bored with her job and starting to wonder whether she even likes her boyfriend, Ryan.

The high point in her day is passing a café on her walk home from work. It is the sort of place where she'd really like to work.

Then one day she sees as advert on the door: assistant wanted. But before she can land her dream job, Allie knows she must achieve two things:

1. Learn to cook
2. End her relationship with Ryan, especially as through the window of the café, she spies a waiter who looks much more like her type of man.

And when she learns that the café is in danger of closing, Allie knows she must do her very best to save the day ...

Review: Oh it was so lovely to be back in a Katie Fforde book, it really has been too long since I awarded myself that treat. When this quick reads title came out I knew it was the perfect excuse to be back in this author's world again and boy was it a good time. 

This book is just the antithesis of heartwarming. It has all the ingredients of a great quick romance read: food, self discovery and a nasty boyfriend you need to get rid of. I loved the message of this book that you can do anything you set your mind to and that if you put in the effort you can make changes to your life at any time. 

The main character in this book is just 20. I can't remember the last time I read a romance involving a younger protagonist that wasn't YA. I feel like this allowed me to really root for her throughout the book and also allow her come mistakes that I wouldn't necessarily allow an older heroin in a romance novel. It was great seeing someone so early on in their life be so driven and so determined to make a change. 

This was such a treat of a book. I do have a vlog of me reading this and reacting to it as I read it so if you want to read along with me-do check that out!

To order your copy now, just click the link: UK or US

Wednesday 23 June 2021

Guest Review: An Endless Cornish Summer by Phillipa Ashley

Escape to the seaside with this gorgeous new series from the Sunday Times bestselling author – perfect for fans of Trisha Ashley and Heidi Swain.

Rose Vernon is headed to a quiet Cornish village – to find the man who saved her life. 
For Rose, every day is a gift. She narrowly survived a life-threatening illness and owes everything to her anonymous donor. Determined to thank him, Rose follows a trail of clues that lead her to the little Cornish fishing village of Falford. 
But things become complicated when Rose is drawn into local life, becoming involved in the legendary Falford Regatta and meeting the handsome Morvah brothers – one of whom might just be the man she’s looking for. But which one? 
Can Rose find the answer she’s searching for, or will she lose her heart before the summer is over?

Review: As a fan of Phillipa Ashley, I have been looking forward to the release of her summer novel for this year. How nice it was to discover that I was to be taken off on a holiday by the sea in sunny Cornwall, the destination for so many of Phillipa’s books. I found this a compelling read from the very start and was absorbed in the story to the end.

The central female character here is archaeologist Rose Vernon, whose life has literally been saved by a donation of stem cells. Although such donations are anonymous, the few clues she has to the donor’s identity have led Rose to the Cornish seaside village of Falford and to two brothers who run a boatyard there. She manages to obtain a grant that will enable her to spend the summer in Falford while investigating some archaeological digs nearby. Rose has a marvellous summer in the village, making many friends and becoming involved in local activities, on and off the sea. She also gets close to Joey and Finn Morvah, the brothers she is looking for, and it looks as though she might unexpectedly have found romance.

I found this a captivating and uplifting story as I accompanied Rose on her search for the person who gave her another chance at life. Phillipa Ashley skilfully conveys the seriousness with which Rose conducts her investigation and how important it is to her to find the man she seeks. Although this is the main storyline, there is plenty going on for the other characters in the book, and Rose gets involved, helping out many of them where she can. The book is filled with lovely characters, most of whom have interesting stories of their own. The village itself has a warm community feel about it; Phillipa’s descriptions very effectively transported me there and I could almost hear the clanging of the masts on the yachts in the harbour. I can recommend this book to others who are in need of an escape to the sunny coast in the company of some wonderful characters.

To order your copy now, just click the link: UK or US

Monday 21 June 2021

In The Heights Format Review: Imax Vs Dolby Vs Digital


Review: The First Day of Spring by Nancy Tucker

 Chrissie knows how to steal sweets from the shop without getting caught, the best hiding place for hide-and-seek, the perfect wall for handstands. 

Now she has a new secret. It gives her a fizzing, sherbet feeling in her belly. She doesn't get to feel power like this at home, where food is scarce and attention scarcer. 

Fifteen years later, Julia is working in a fish and chip shop and trying to mother her five-year-old daughter, Molly. She is always worried - about affording food and school shoes, about what the other mothers think of her. Most of all she worries that the social services are about to take Molly away. 

That's when the phone calls begin which Julia is too afraid to answer, because it's clear the caller knows the truth about what happened 15 years ago. 

And it's time to face the truth: is forgiveness and redemption ever possible for someone who has killed?

Review: This book was not at all what I was expecting it to be. It was pitched to me because I love Lisa Jewell and CL Taylor but this is a very different thriller. Do make sure you read the synopsis thoroughly because this book comes with a lot of care warnings for neglect, abuse and infant death.

I think I probably accessed this book on quite a different level because I have always worked with children and I am a teacher and so I found this book really tough to listen to at times. I think that the narrator did a great job although this book takes place in the north east of England and the narration reflects that. Being a northerner myself I thought the narration was great but I know its not always the most popular accent. This book really exposes what can happen when a child is not shown love and care early on in life. Although the synopsis mentions lack of money really it is the lack of care that is at the centre of this book and I think it was a really brave thing for the author to tackle. 

The book also tackles issues surrounding mental health particularly when you don't have the privilege of disposable income to help with the care that your mental health requires. I love that this is shown to be an issue in this book. We always highlight the importance of taking care of your mental health and seeking help when appropriate but we don't always have the time or the money to put towards that and that is fully explored in this novel.

The way this book is structured does make for a very compelling read. We meet Chrissie and we meet Julia and we pretty quickly learn of their connection but we jump back and forth between their two worlds and this is very much a dual narrative and dual time line novel. I love that structure in a book because it does make you keep listening to find out what will happen to each character next and what impact that might have on the other. 

This was definitely a tough read and I did feel an almost physical pain for Chrissie at many moments throughout this book but I love what this author has done in terms of taking risks to tackle subjects that not a lot of people talk about. Definitely read through the synopsis before picking this one up but if you are OK with the care warnings then I definitely recommend giving this a read. 

To order your copy now, just click the link: UK or US

Friday 18 June 2021

Guest Review: The Hotel at Honeymoon Station by Tilly Tennant

Run away to the Dorset countryside, to the sleepy village of Honeymoon, where rose-adorned thatched cottages soak up the sunlight and Emma is risking everything for a brave new start on life and love…

When Emma’s useless fiancé tells her a lie she cannot forgive, she decides enough is enough. She leaves him, quits her dead-end job and travels hundreds of miles away to the ancient village of Honeymoon in the Dorset countryside, to help her friend Tia turn the old train station into a boutique hotel.

Tia has told Emma that it will be a project, but when Emma arrives in Honeymoon and sees a weed-choked crumbling ruin, her vision of an idyllic life in Dorset begins to disintegrate. But when she meets twinkly-eyed builder Aiden in the village shop, and sparks fly between them, she can’t help but feel that the stars have for once aligned.

As work begins on the hotel, Emma and Aiden grow closer, and on sun-dappled evening walks, he tells her the secrets of the village. But there are some villagers who wish that Emma had never arrived in Honeymoon… And when Emma is involved in a terrible accident on site, and then discovers what Aiden has been keeping from her, it feels like the universe is telling her to leave Honeymoon for good. What if she was wrong to say goodbye to all that was safe and familiar? Will she ever be able to find her happy-ever-after in Honeymoon?

Review: Tilly Tennant is definitely one of my ‘go to’ authors, so I was delighted to find that she had a new book on the way. I was intrigued by the title of this one. As usual with her books, this one drew me in right from the start and I found it a quick read.

The story concerns two young women, Tia and Emma, who enter into a partnership to convert the old station buildings in the Dorset village of Honeymoon, which they have bought unseen, into a hotel. Although not close friends, Tia and Emma were at school together. Tia has recently divorced and Emma has broken up with long-term boyfriend, Dougie. They are slightly taken aback by the state of the old station and the enormity of the task ahead of them, but employ local builders, brothers Aidan and Blake, to carry out the necessary conversion. Among the problems they encounter along the way is local resistance to the work, particularly from one resident. However, most of the people in the village are friendly and welcoming. There is instant attraction between Tia and Blake, but, after a rocky start, Emma soon finds that she is enjoying the company of Aidan, and the foursome work well together on realising the dreams of producing a lovely new hotel.

I really enjoyed this story of two young women leaving behind their less than happy lives to follow their dream of giving new life to a once busy and important building. I admired their courage in moving miles from home and persevering with their plans even when things were not going their way. Of course having two handsome and strong builders on their side helped immensely. The author has provided the reader with a wonderful picture of the village of Honeymoon, with its little shop, cafe and pub, as well as the abandoned station. I could just envisage myself walking down the street and passing the time of day with the locals. It sounds a great place to live, and the hotel is one that I would look forward to visiting. This is a book that I would not hesitate to recommend to those who would enjoy a fun read and an escape to the country.

To order your copy now, just click the link: UK or US

Tuesday 15 June 2021

Quick Reads Reading Vlog: What Did I Think of The 2021 Quick Reads Books?


Top Ten Tuesday: 10 Books on My Summer TBR


Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

Ok a lot of these books you will have seen already on my June TBR but I will try and include a few later summer releases so that you get a feel for my full summer TBR. I will be moving this summer though so I do have to be somewhat conservative when it comes to my reading plans...

Thursday 10 June 2021

Book Review: Is Bad Choices by Lucy Vine The Perfect Pride Month Reading?


Review: Bad Choices by Lucy Vine

 Two friends. Two decades.

One big mistake...

Nat and Zoe have always shared everything.

Hopeless crushes, emergency tampons, messy sex stories, work triumphs, those days where you can't stop crying in the loos, those days where you can't stop dancing on the bar. They even share the same birthday, FFS. The struggle is real, but they'll always have each other.

Except best friends forever is a hard promise to keep...

Review: Ahh I loved this book so much. It's not often that a book can make you cry and laugh out loud on the same page but Lucy Vine does that to me every book without fail. This is also a book that I can relate to possibly the most out of anything I have read in a long time. A lot of what Natalie (one of the fabulous stars of this novel) goes through mirrors some of the things that I have dealt with in my life and so I really felt this on a deeply personal level!

Natalie and Zoe meet crying in the school toilets aged 14 and we get to follow them though life right up to present day. I loved that we got to revisit them it reminded me a lot of Firefly Lane in that respect but funnier and less tragic. Natalie, as I have already mentioned, is very easy to relate to. The issues she has at school that follow her into her career and personal life are some which I am sure we have all experienced on some level in our own lives. Then there's Zoe who I feel like we all had a friend like Zoe at some point in our lives. I totally wish she was my friend now but I also see parts of myself in Zoe. She seems ultra confident on the outside but she really struggles with things internally, not being someone who shares easily. 

Whilst I love the fact that Lucy Vine always makes me laugh out loud and I loved tracking Natalie adn Zoe's lives over many many years I think the thing I loved most about this book is the fact that is includes real life diverse people and situations. Not everyone is straight and happy and goes on to get married and have 2.4 children so a massive thank you to this author for writing characters like me and putting them in situations that I have found myself in. I am not going to go into specifics because spoilers but I will say I LOVED having a commercial women's fiction book with a bisexual character come out during pride month where that wasn't the only facet of their character, it was just something about them-celebration!

In case you're in any doubt, I loved this book I thought it was amazing and I think that you should absolutely read it right now!

To order your copy now, just click the link: UK or US

Wednesday 9 June 2021

Guest Review: A Day at the Beach Hut by Veronica Henry

On a shimmering summer's day on the coast, the waves are calling, the picnic basket is packed, and change is in the air....

A family enjoy their last holiday at a much-loved beach hut. The tide brings in an old face - and a new temptation - while a writer's retreat is shaken up by a surprise arrival. The simple pleasures of the seaside compete with the Instagram dream, a couple's future is turned upside down and a celebratory evening takes a stormy turn. And as the sun sets, an unexpected romance is simmering....

From a windswept breakfast while the surf's up, to a romantic seafood dinner under the stars, enjoy a little taste of the seaside - wherever you are.

This uplifting collection of eight original short stories and more than 50 delicious recipes will transport you to the golden sands of Everdene for a perfect day at the beach hut.

Review: I have read and enjoyed all of the Beach Hut series of stories from Veronica Henry. I love the seaside, and these books always manage to transport me to a sandy beach with the sound of the waves in the background. I was intrigued to find that this new offering is slightly different in that it contains a series of short stories centred on the beach huts featured in the earlier books plus some recipes and some recollections of the author’s experiences on visits to the seaside. 

The book progresses through a whole day on the beach, from breakfast time to evening, with reminiscences, a short story and several recipes related to the story at each stage. The stories are set in the fictional seaside town of Everdene, with its row of colourful beach huts which feature in all of the Beach Hut series. Several characters appear in more than one story, bringing the book together nicely. The recipes include breakfast dishes, picnic food, treats and snacks, a birthday banquet (also with party playlist), seafood suppers, family favourites, and a romantic dinner for two. There are even lists of Veronica’s 10 classic beach reads, her 10 best beach hut board games, her top 10 beach movies and top 10 favourite ice creams.

I have very much enjoyed reading this book. It contains all you need for a day at the beach or a stay in a colourful  beach hut. The stories are varied in content, but all equally entertaining. I liked that fact that the same character might crop up in more than one story and I was very jealous that most of them had the opportunity to stay in one of the cosy little huts. Veronica’s tales of her visits to the beach are a nice addition to the book. The recipes sound absolutely delicious; I have already tried out the banana pancakes, which were easy to prepare and made a lovely brunch. I would recommend this book; whether you buy it as a work of fiction or a recipe book, I’m sure you will not be disappointed.

To order your copy now, just click the link: UK or US

Tuesday 8 June 2021

May Reading Wrap Up: Did I Read The Books I Wanted To Read This Month?


Top Ten Tuesday: Books that Made Me Want More Of That Kind of Book


Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

Ok so I think that this is basically just going to be a list of autobuy authors for me, what I'll try and do is put the book that I discovered them through and then you'll know I bought everything else that author wrote thereafter...

Monday 7 June 2021

Guest Review: Sunrise by the Sea by Jenny Colgan

When she is given the opportunity to move to a remote tidal island off the Cornish Coast, Marisa Rossi decides some peace and quiet might be just what she needs.

Since the death of her beloved grandfather back in Italy, she's been struggling to find a way out of her grief. Perhaps this will be the perfect place for her to recuperate.

But Mount Polbearne is a far cry from the sleepy little place she was imagining. Between her noisy piano-teaching Russian neighbour and the hustle and bustle of a busy community, Marisa finds solitude is not so easy to come by. Especially when she finds herself somehow involved with a tiny local bakery desperately in need of some new zest to save it . . .

Review: I am a great fan of Jenny Colgan’s writing and was very happy to find a new story from her set on the island of Mount Polbearne and featuring many of the inhabitants I have got to know and love from her Beach Street Bakery stories, of course including Neil the puffin. Although the setting and cast will be familiar to many readers, the book can easily be read as a standalone as the story centres on two newcomers to the island as well as providing updates on the lives of recurring characters. As I anticipated, I was quickly drawn into this tale and rapidly found myself lost in the island setting. 

At the beginning of the story we meet Marisa, who has been profoundly affected by her grandfather’s death to the extent that she has become a virtual recluse. A friend suggests that a move to the island of Mount Polbearne, joined to the Cornish coast by a tidal causeway, might provide a tranquil environment where she can recover. However, her new home is far from peaceful. The thin walls do nothing to block out the noise from her Russian piano teacher neighbour Alexei, another newcomer to the island. There is also plenty of noise from other inhabitants and tourists. Just when it seems that her move is not helping her find a way out of her grief, an emergency on the island forces her to emerge from her isolation. Her cooking prowess proves to be just what the community needs and ultimately leads her to the island bakery and a way in which she can help to save it from closure. 

I laughed, cried and cheered my way through this book. Marisa’s tale was so compelling and Jenny Colgan’s writing brought her to life so successfully that I could feel her pain as she struggled with extreme grief. I felt sure that she was going to be OK when she got to Mount Polbearne and the welcoming people there, but her accommodation and her difficult neighbour just seemed to add another problematic dimension to her struggle with life. I loved her relationship with her grandmother in Italy. Thank goodness for Skype that allowed them to cook together and exchange banter. Alexei was also an interesting character, not always likeable, but struggling to find his way. I have loved all the stories set on this island and revolving around the bakery; other fans will be glad to know that there is plenty involvement of the familiar characters in this story, including Polly, Huckle and Reuben. This is a book that I can wholeheartedly recommend to other readers, even if you are not familiar with the series. Tissues may well be required for the tears, whether of sorrow or laughter. 

To order your copy now, just click the link: UK or US

Saturday 5 June 2021

Guest Review: Spitfire: A Very British Love Story By John Nichol

Achtung, Spitfire!
The iconic Spitfire found fame during the darkest early days of World War II. But what happened to the redoubtable fighter and its crews beyond the Battle of Britain, and why is it still so loved today?

In late spring 1940, Nazi Germany’s domination of Europe had looked unstoppable. With the British Isles in easy reach since the fall of France, Adolf Hitler was convinced that Great Britain would be defeated in the skies over her southern coast, confident his Messerschmitts and Heinkels would outclass anything the Royal Air Force threw at them. What Hitler hadn’t planned for was the agility and resilience of a marvel of British engineering that would quickly pass into legend – the Spitfire.

Bestselling author John Nichol’s passionate portrait of this magnificent fighter aircraft, its many innovations and updates, and the people who flew and loved them, carries the reader beyond the dogfights over Kent and Sussex. Spanning the full global reach of the Spitfire’s deployment during WWII, from Malta to North Africa and the Far East, then over the D-Day beaches, it is always accessible, effortlessly entertaining and full of extraordinary spirit.         
Here are edge-of-the-seat stories and heart-stopping first-hand accounts of battling pilots forced to bail out over occupied territory; of sacrifice and wartime love; of aristocratic female flyers, and of the mechanics who braved the Nazi onslaught to keep the aircraft in battle-ready condition. Nichol takes the reader on a hair-raising, nail-biting and moving wartime history of the iconic Spitfire populated by a cast of redoubtable, heroic characters that make you want to stand up and cheer.

Review: This is a book about the Supermarine Spitfire, the iconic fighter aircraft that first flew just before the Second World War and served with the Royal Air Force (RAF) and other air forces, during and for a few years after the war. The author, John Nichol is a former RAF navigator who was captured along with his pilot by Iraqi forces when their Tornado aircraft was shot down during the Gulf War in 1991.

The book covers the aeroplane’s development and its subsequent deployment in various stages of the conflict. Although the book describes the evolution of the Spitfire and the various enemy aircraft it opposed during those six years, the focus is more on the people who flew and maintained the aircraft. Hence, there are accounts of the fighter pilots and also the ground crew, the men and women of the Air Transport Auxiliary who ferried the ‘planes to various airfields, and pilots who carried out photo reconnaissance missions. Many of these accounts are based on interviews with the ever-diminishing survivors of the war. There are a number of excellent colour photographs, along with a larger number of black and white illustrations. At the end of the book are references and a bibliography, together with technical specifications of the different versions of the Spitfire.

I thought the book was an interesting account of this famous aeroplane and the people who flew and maintained it. However, I found the writing style difficult and episodic, with too many apparently unconnected short paragraphs so that the reading did not flow. I also found the way the references were quoted was not very helpful. There are five and a half pages of references and notes at the end of the book, many of which are repeated because each chapter has its own list of references. I feel it would have been better to assign one unique number to each reference, meaning there would be a single list only instead of sixteen separate lists.

A couple of points I would make about the book are that the main German fighter during the Battle of Britain is referred to as the Me 109, although the author does note that the prototype was referred to as the Bf 109. Strictly speaking, all aircraft of this type should be designated Bf 109 since the manufacturing company was known as the Bayerische Flugzeugwerke at the time that the German air ministry assigned the number, and only became the Messerschmitt company afterwards. However, I understand that both terms were in common use. Additionally, the account of the Spitfire’s combat role appears to end with Germany’s surrender in May 1945. Hostilities in the Far East did not end until August 1945. I feel that the lack of information about these months, and in particular the role of the aircraft-carrier borne version, known as the Seafire, with the British Pacific Fleet is a major omission.

Overall, although I found the book with its fascinating personal stories an interesting read, I feel it could have been better.

To order your copy now, just click the link: UK or US