Reviews

Library Journal
(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

As an extra on the set of a POW film, former Royal Air Force tail gunner Alfie Day has plenty of time to brood on a military career riddled with violence and despair. His few fragile hopes revolve around Joyce, the woman he loves. But can a man haunted by a dark past dare to believe in a bright future? Those who read for structure will admire Kennedy's skillful use of flashback to reveal Day's secrets gradually; that same audience may even find themselves taken by surprise from time to time as the plot unfolds. Readers who value character development will appreciate the scenes in which Alfie and his crewmen bond over flight missions, shared leave, and nights in various pubs. While fans of military fiction will find an excellent war story in these pages, Kennedy has enhanced her plot with something better: a brutally honest yet highly sympathetic portrait of modern men damaged by events beyond their control. Recommended for medium to large fiction collections, as well as smaller collections where demand warrants. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 9/1/07.]-Leigh Anne Vrabel, Carnegie Lib. of Pittsburgh (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Publishers Weekly
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Kennedy's contemplative, stylized sixth novel (after Paradise) follows former Royal Air Force tail gunner Alfred Day as he relives his experiences in a WWII German prison camp. It's 1949, and the diminutive but sparky Alfred, now in his mid-20s, is unraveling without the peculiar sense of purpose and dread the war had instilled in him, and without the crew he'd befriended. He volunteers as an extra on the set of a war documentary, hoping to regain precious lost camaraderie, but instead teeters on the edge of total breakdown. Flashbacks abound, detailing Alfred's turbulent childhood with an abusive, alcoholic father. The film set experience grows darker as Alfred begins reliving his time in the prison camp, and the roots of his growing anger and depression are exposed. Kennedy is known for her language and methodical sentence structure, and this dexterity sparkles in her narration, which includes Alfred's interior thoughts (offset in italics) as well as ingenious forays into the second person (where he's presumably talking to himself). It takes getting used to, but adds texture and intimacy to this timely story about the detrimental effects of war on a good man. (Jan.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


Library Journal
(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

The award-winning author comes up with another intriguing premise: a former World War II POW gets to rethink things when he signs up as an extra on a war film. With a four-city tour. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.