Wings To Fly

Wings to Fly - Andersen Press £4.99

This story is set in Devon , where I live, and it's based on a true story about a fishing village that was destroyed by a storm about 80 years ago, because the shingle from the beach had been taken to build new dockyards for battleships for the First World War. It's also about a girl called Sarah, who makes friends with an injured airman called Julian who is recovering from losing an arm in the war. They are miles apart, both socially and in their experience, but their friendship helps both of them come to terms with their loss in a rapidly changing world.

10yrs +


"An almost unbearably moving story of love, loss and the devastating effects of war"

"tackles issues of environmental damage and change, placing them in a thought-provoking but comforting frame."

"Sarah, growing up in a tiny fishing village during the Great War, is thirteen when she first meets the 'Birdman', a pilot crippled in combat. He's a whole new world to her. Through him she learns the bloody truth about war, glimpses the unattainably elegant life of the gentry and feels the first emotional stirrings of adolescent love.....

It's fast-paced, with strong male characters, and I believed in Sarah and her village; but in a sense the strongest character is the sea, a presence which hisses and surges through every chapter till it transmutes into the book's great metaphor for the impermanence of life. Sarah's safe little village is washed away by it one stormy night; our last image is of her as an old lady, stubbornly climbing the cliff path for one last time 'to see the sunset sparkle on the waves', and to let go of the paper aeroplane folded for her one afternoon long ago by her Birdman: 'And this time it will fly on, till it disappears into the vastness of the sea.'
A touching end to a subtly poignant book.
Rita Lamb

Never trust a Squirrel O'Driscoll's Treasure wings to fly I is someone else Tell me Lies