Tuesday, 8 September 2009

On the side of angels (Miller) 197

I read about this book, I think on Cornflower's blog, before I went away, and ordered a copy, and it seemed apt to pick up a VMC set in the time of the Second World War given the current commemorations of the 70th anniversary of its outbreak. It has only been published in the green edition, but I love the image of the Spitfire and the English countryside depicted.

The story concerns two sisters, Honor, and Claudia. Hono is married to Colin, a GP who is currently working for the Royal Airforce Medical Core, and absolutely determined to succeed in his career there, conforming to army conventions and becoming involved in its power games at the expense of his family. Claudia is staying with Honor, and is engaged to Andrew, who is about to be invalided out of the army. The book describes these women and their relationships with Colin and Andrew and looks at how their lives have been affected by the war, and how all of them are required to reassess their peacetime roles.

If you liked One Fine Day, by Mollie Panter Downes, then I would highly recommend this one to you. I found it to be entertaining, enjoyable and gripping, as well as a wonderful evocation of the period.


  1. What did you make of the intense hero worship Colin had for his commanding officer? I found it uncomfortable, and got the deffinate impression that Miller thought very little of men generally.

  2. Colin's hero worship I felt was probably understandable in the circumstances of war, and I felt probably not unusual. But it's an interesting point; the story was definitely more on the side of the women, and neither Andrew or Herriot were particularly likeable.

  3. I want this just for the cover; it's so pretty! I have been longing to find One Fine Day in a charity shop for ages but no luck yet! This sounds like a lovely book too. I do enjoy books set during the war, written by someone who was there. They are miles better than all the attempts modern authors try and make to summon up the wartime mood.

  4. It is I think my favourite cover since I started collecting.