I picked up this new book by Alexander McCall Smith at the library a couple of weeks ago. I have read many of his books over the years and enjoyed them. So his name caught my attention. I turned it over to see what it was about and my intrigue was caught.
This is a story about a young lady in WWII England. She has joined up with the Women’s Land Army. This was a group for young women to join and they were sent to help in places where they were needed – mainly working the land on farms and businesses that needed manual labor now that the male workforce was fighting in the war.
At about 20 years of age, Val starts work on the farm. She helps Archie with anything he needs now that he is getting on in years and his son was off in the war. She learns quickly and is a good companion for Archie, as well as a hard worker.
One day, a man from the local US air base comes looking for fresh eggs. He arranges for Val to bring eggs to the base a couple of times a week. While there Val meets Mike and they fall in love. During their courtship, Val and her cousin Willy rescue a dog that was being abused. Willy had named the dog Peter Woodhouse. When the dog could no longer be safely kept at Archie’s farm, Mike takes him to the base and he becomes a mascot there. The whole base loves him.
Peter Woodhouse becomes such a good mascot that the men begin taking him along on their flights, as good luck. Until one day, when they are shot down. Mike and the dog are both presumed lost. How does Val continue on? What is to become of her now that she is expecting a baby?
This is a very good look at yet another way the war affected the normal people of the world. Often we hear about the way the cities were endangered during the war with all the bombings and lack of food and such. But the farms in the country were affected, also. And The Good Pilot Peter Woodhouse, while a fictional story, was an easy read that helped bring another perspective to the war. Especially after some of the unexpected turns that happen in the story come about.
It is a great read and I definitely recommend it.
Head over to Ladybug Daydreams to see if Wendy has a new book to share about for our August Book Club.