Wednesday, 14 November 2012

A Time For Heroes by Frank Barnard

review by Maryom

Guv Sutro is a hero - a pioneer of aviation in its infancy then a fighter pilot in WW1 and a breaker of aviation records after - but heroes often turn out to have feet of the muddiest sort of clay. His son Tim and childhood friend Will have always accepted this 'hero' version of Guv - Tim trying to step out from his shadow and Will trying to emulate him. It's only when as pilots themselves during WW2 they visit Guv's wartime French airfield that they get the first inkling that he might not have been quite the honourable chap he's been built up to be.

To be rather, or very, simplistic this a story of what happens when too much praise goes to a person's head. I wasn't actually sure how much I was going to like this book - from the blurb it seemed a bit of 'boy's own' Biggles-type adventure and at just under 500 pages seemed a little long. But once I'd started, it was very hard to put down as I uncovered a long family epic of secrets, betrayals and cover-ups. It definitely isn't merely about high jinks in the sky - though they do play their part.  I don't know if Barnard did any hands-on up-in-the-sky research but I really felt 'there' in the flimsy aircraft soaring above war-torn France.
A really enjoyable read and not just for flying buffs.

Maryom's review -  4.5 stars
Publisher - Headline 
Genre - Adult, war, family epic

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