Pastoral by Nevil Shute

 Pastoral cover

Pastoral by Nevil Shute was first published in 1944 but my copy is a 1950 reprint complete with dust jacket.

I really enjoyed this one which is a mixture of unsoppy romance and nail-biting World War 2 action via a bombing crew. The R for Robert crew is based near Oxford, they fly a Wellington bomber and have been very successful, surviving nearly 50 sorties. Their success is almost certainly due to the fact that they all get on so well together, they have trust in each other’s abilities and Peter Marshall their captain is a very fair and even tempered chap. His personality keeps everyone calm despite the appalling stress that they’re all under flying their Wellington bomber to Germany on bombing raids so often.

Luckily all of the men are keen anglers and they all go off on fishing expeditions locally, it’s just what they need to keep their minds off the dangers they face on a nightly basis.

Peter Marshall falls heavily for a young WAAF officer, she’s a radio operator and feels that Peter is moving too fast, she’s not ready to get serious. Peter’s relaxed personality changes completely and he becomes bad-tempered and nit-picking around his crew which has a bad effect on their flying performance.

I found the descriptions of the flights to and from Germany to be incredibly tense, I’ll probably give this one a 4 on Goodreads at least.