This story about one prairie daughter’s journey to adulthood through the crucible of World War 2 wrapped me up for three days of a delightfully deep read. It has just about everything I look for in a book – excellent writing, engaging characters, a storyline that pulls you along, and something interesting to learn. I gave it 5 stars on Amazon.
Rose Jolliffe is a prairie girl bent on experiencing the world, and when the War comes along she sees her chance. Little does she know what she is getting into by travelling to England, but she sees the world all right – up close and personal with the eyes of an aerial photograph interpreter. We get to follow Rose as she battles through love and loss, injury and redemption, and the dismal and gorgeous British landscapes. By the novel’s end I was right alongside her on the long trainride back home.
Photo interpretation is a fascinating new lens through which to view the same old war. Elinor Florence’s penchant for research comes to the fore here. She brings the Western Front to life in a way we’ve never seen before, and with a remarkably feminine touch – full of long hours scanning the smallest detail to help the flying boys, and determined to do the job despite the devastation before her eyes. This, and the intimate portrayal of life in England during wartime, brought the War to me like nothing else ever has.
Elinor Florence is an accomplished writer with a fine mastery of the craft. Her seamless storytelling reeled me into my comfy chair and kept me there, with only occasional breaks for a nice cup of tea. Rose Jolliffe is still with me, days after putting the book down. I highly recommend Bird’s Eye View for a cosy winter read that will keep you engaged and leave you with a new friend, one with a solid sense of the world and a keen eye for detail.
You can find Bird’s Eye View by Elinor Florence here.