Just One More Day by Jessica Blair
|Just One More Day by Jessica Blair|
|Category: Historical Fiction|
|Reviewer: Louise Jones|
|Summary: A young WAAF girl vows to never fall in love with a pilot, but finds her promise difficult to keep.|
|Buy? Maybe||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 384||Date: February 2015|
|External links: Author's website|
When war is declared and her brother joins the RAF, young Carolyn Maddison makes it clear that she plans to follow in his footsteps and join the WAAF as soon as she turns eighteen. Despite her parents' objections, she stays true to her word and soon receives an invitation to report to the Air Ministry for training. In her first weeks with the WAAF, Carolyn experiences heartbreaking loss and witnesses an horrific accident that causes her to make a rash vow: never to get emotionally involved with a pilot. However, as a pretty young girl stationed at a base full of dashing young airmen, she finds it increasingly difficult to keep her resolve, especially when fun-loving Vera arrives at the base and starts flirting with Rick, the man that she just turned down.
Just One More Day is a sweet historical romance set against the backdrop of war. It follows the story of Carolyn and her two friends Lucy and Vera as they try to juggle work and love in the most unlikely of settings. The job of the women is to debrief the airmen when they return from the bombing raids, and the job can be incredibly demanding emotionally. It is heartbreaking for the women to see the men depart, knowing that lives will be lost and not all will return alive. When they start to form a special relationship with the crew of 'U-Uncle', the stakes become increasingly high.
The setting of the book was fascinating and extremely well researched. I have never read a romantic novel set in this time period, so I found this story quite unique. Blair is meticulous about detail, although this often resulted in ploughing through pages and pages of technical 'war-speak' when I was keen to find out what happened next in Carolyn's love life.
The book had quite a slow start, but managed to build up pace as it went on, and I was waiting with bated breath to see whether all of the men return from each mission. I liked the fact that the book does not just focus on Carolyn, but we also see what is happening to Rick and his crew as they carry out their raids.
I would have liked the characters to have been more well-rounded, as they all seem a little 'too' perfect. I wanted someone to come in and stir things up, but the men were incredibly gentlemanly and civil about everything, even when it came to ending relationships. I was frustrated by the way the women just seemed to meet the men, go on a few dates and immediately fall in love, but of course, this was wartime and there was an underlying mentality that a person had to grab happiness while they had the opportunity. Maybe that is why the characters behaved the way they did, but it was hard to feel a deep emotional connection with them because the relationships were written in a very simplistic way. I also later discovered that 'Jessica Blair' is a pen-name for a male author called Bill Spence, so maybe this is why the book failed to capture the emotional depth of the women in the story.
Just One More Day is a gentle love story with pleasant characters and happy endings and makes a nice, cosy read. I found the book educational too, and now feel like a bit of an expert about wartime intelligence, aeroplanes and bombing raids! Many thanks to the publishers for my review copy.
Although it is primarily a children's book, Private Peaceful by Michael Morpurgo is also a favourite with adults and is an excellent read for anyone interested in tales of wartime.
You can read more book reviews or buy Just One More Day by Jessica Blair at Amazon.co.uk.
You can read more book reviews or buy Just One More Day by Jessica Blair at Amazon.com.
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