Blue Skies & Gunfire

I’m with Mrs Fickling on this one. It is a good book. Blue Skies & Gunfire is also a surprisingly recent novel by K M Peyton, on an old topic, WWII. Primarily a romance, it is just the way I like a book to be.

You can tell that Kathleen lived through the period she writes about. The description of London and the Southeast is so much more vivid for all the everyday details, both about the war, but also about people ignoring the war.

K M Peyton, Blue Skies & Gunfire

I never used to understand how you could come almost eye-to-eye with German pilots, nor how easy it must have been to allow romance to go at full speed, since you couldn’t expect someone to be alive the next day, let alone after the war.

16-year-old Josie is evacuated to her aunt’s in Essex, where she meets and falls in love with the lovely Jumbo, in the Big House. He is hoping to become a pilot. Then Josie meets Jumbo’s brother Chris and falls in love with him. He already is a pilot.

You can tell this is not going to end well. The main question is which kind of not well and for whom. Both brothers are lovely boys. You just know someone will have to die, and someone will be devastated. But who and in what way, and how will it be resolved?

I had several options in my head, and I suppose the end was close-ish to one version. I just wish the last chapter hadn’t been there. I sort of want some things to be unsaid. Now that they are not, I am slowly coming round to it being the best way after all. Maybe.

5 responses to “Blue Skies & Gunfire

  1. Hmm, wondering if you have my place bugged. Was just saying yesterday that having blogged on the amazing Hilary McKay you had to follow it up with my other all time favourite K M Peyton. This book is on my bookshelf waiting to be read. (I hold the favourites back).

    Have you read Snowfall? You MUST. And the Flambards quartet, naturally.

    Recently I met another author who lunches with KM Peyton. I admit. I got lunch envy.

  2. Yes I have. Ought I to have mentioned this?

    Actually, I have a little corner where I have some special books, which I’m allowed to read when I feel I ‘need chocolate’ and both these were there, and I felt bad enough to need two chocolates in one fell swoop. I’m doing my utmost not to return to my little stash for a while. (Flambards is in there…)

    These lunches are sickening. Unless you are actually at them, in which case they are just right, and who do you think you are to barge in?

  3. Flambard’s sustained me in my teenage years (amongst other ‘chocolate’ books). Keen to add this title to the ‘must be read’ pile

  4. pesky apostrophes – I swear they lie in wait for me and jump into my words when I’m not looking

  5. You can’t blame it on them. They are used to being wanted. So I won’t jump in and edit…


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