Helena Schrader's Historical Fiction

My biographical novel of Balian d'Ibelin in three parts is complete, but the saga continues. Follow me to Cyprus, where Lusignans and Ibelins struggle to put down a rebellion and establish a durable state. Watch for excerpts and updates here.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Review of "Chasing the Wind / Where Eagles Never Flew"



Shortly after the release of my Battle of Britain Novel, "Chasing the Wind" the following review was published on Amazon. Last year, the book was released in Kindle format under the title: "Where Eagles Never Flew." Any readers interested in WWII, particularly the Battle of Britain, will appreciate Mr. Rodwell's assessment of this book.


The best novel yet about the Battle of Britain!, 30 Aug 2007
By 
Mr. Simon A. Rodwell (Milton Keynes, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)  
This is a superb novel about the Battle of Britain and is a must read for anyone interested in that period in our history. It is now 67 years since the Battle of Britain and the summer of 1940 is gradually moving from common memory into a piece of history. So much has been written about the battle from the early factual accounts written within a year or two of the battle, through to a rash of 1950's pilot biographies and memoirs and a host of novels from the 1960's to the present day, that it is hard to imagine that a new novel could be written that would make the conflict seem fresh. Yet this is exactly what `Chasing the Wind' has achieved.

The novel tracks through all the important stages of the battle from the closing stages of the Battle for France through to the early days of October 1940. The historical accuracy is stunning and the historical characters featured in it are faithful to their biographic details. Fictional character development has real depth (and this is something that is sometimes lacking in wartime fiction about flight). The story is also told from both German and British perspectives as well, with the reader's sympathies drawn to several key characters regardless of on which side of the English Channel they happened to be based. The variety of character roles has also been cleverly constructed since the reader is given so many different imaginary camera angles to view the unfolding battle from, as well as building a full picture of the social atmosphere of the times in both Britain and occupied France. Technical detail is similarly superb. The performance characteristics of all aircraft involved, for example, are faithfully represented.

It is often hard when writing a novel about historical events to avoid the judgement of hindsight. The outcome of the Battle of Britain had a result which history judges as being in Britain's favour. What `Chasing the Wind' manages to do, however, is to convey the uncertainty of the times. The outcome was very uncertain for both sides and the fear very real for all concerned. The novel catches this so brilliantly that at times one forgets it is a novel at all and that it is more a documentary memoir of those living at the time.




Note: Next weekend I will be travelling, and the next post to this blog will be on July 14.


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