Tuesday's War (David Fiddimore)

Posted on Tue 23 January 2007 in Rooties Recent Reading

I want to email this author and tell him he's a bastard.

With my well known interest in all things aviation you could expect me to enjoy a book based around the times of a Lancaster bomber crew serving in World War 2. However, I would have loved this book if it had been set in a factory - it's about the crew, their experiences, their relationships and the impact of one unusual woman on the crew. The detail of the lifestyle of the aircrew is complete down to an 8 berth hut with an inadequate coal burner for heat. The woman in question was called Grace, the name of the book comes from what the crew name their new bomber "Tuesdays Child" (from the poem with the lines "Tuesdays child is full of grace"). Grace does far more than influence the name of the bomber.

The book is superbly written, a joy to read and full of detail that makes the characters come to life. The ending itself was so well crafted if it were art it would be attributed to one of the great masters. Charlie Bassett, the radio operator who narrates us through the story, appears for one small chapter after at the end of the book many years after the war . Charlie says many things to close the story, though he never tells us what happens to Grace and although I think it's hinted at, I really wanted it to be a clear and happy ending.

Yes, I want to tell this author he's a bastard because I have a feeling other books will struggle to finish with the same standard of pleasure. I guess sometimes a vague ending is the best ending after all. Definately worth reading.