Andrew Francis and Gerry Donaldson were born on different sides of the Atlantic just before The Great War. Together with the mildly psychotic Bryan Hale, they fly Spitfires through the summer of 1940. Invasion is imminent and the country faces almost certain defeat and destruction at the hands of The Luftwaffe in The Battle of Britain.
Gerry, the first American to fire guns in anger against the Nazis, fights in spite of American isolationism, relinquishing his US citizenship and becoming a reluctant propaganda tool for the Air Ministry along the way. Andrew, newly married, fights to protect his headstrong wife and their unborn child. Bryan fights for the simple pleasure of the kill.
Vincent Drew, broken by childhood abuse, tumbles into their world and tears it apart.
Based on a true story, Bluebirds re-casts The Few in the darker shadow of their desperate times, fighting against terrifying odds with the ever-present expectation of violent, murderous death.
It is a tale of innocence and experience, full of beauty and simplicity but with the ugliest of outcomes.
I really enjoyed the dog fight scenes and the tension of waiting to get up in the air and the sense of the pilots' lives being short. I liked the way all the characters lives were inter-twined and the reader is keen to keep reading to learn how all these apparently random characters will be connected.
I was fortunate enough to read an advanced edition of this outstanding book. As a regular
consumer of all things aviation in general, and the Battle of Britain specifically I thoroughly
enjoyed this novel. As a pilot myself, I found myself relating to the young men in the book
watching the airplanes from the previous war taking off behind an airport fence, and wanting
nothing more than to be a pilot. The scenes described by the author put you in the cockpit closing
with an ME109 at 400 knots! You can feel the fear and excitement of the engagement. Mr.
Fickling has scored with this novel, and done yet another service to "the few". I can't wait for the
Jay S Huff
Jay S Huff