At the unbelievably young age of twenty-two, John Franklin crash lands his Wellington bomber in Occupied France during World War II. Despite a badly injured arm, he and his four fellow airmen make their way through fields and wood under the cover of night in search of somewhere safe to shelter.
Franklin's declining health forces the group to trust a French family who take in the airmen despite the threat of being shot for assisting the enemy. Francoise, the daughter, is still in her teens but exudes both confidence and courage beyond her years. She soon bonds with Franklin layering this war novel with a love story which Bates blends to perfection. And make no mistake, the war he writes about is not romanticized and the love affair is far from sentimental.
Each new character appearing on a page brought about new twinges of suspicion. Every decision to be made from which road to take, where to cross on the river and who to trust could be life or death. I'm quite sure I held my breath for half of this book and cursed everything that made me have to put it down.
If you need further convincing here is the link to Reading Matters and thank you to Kimbofo for leading me to a stellar read.