I do like A.L. Kennedy’s writing. Her stories build slowly, as the details of the main protagonist’s past are revealed. We get to understand the events that have shaped the central character, in this case Alfie Day, a wartime tail gunner in a Lancaster bomber. Alfie remembers his wartime life: the comrades who did not survive; the horror of seeing cities below burning as a result of the bombs just dropped; his father’s abuse of his mother; and the love he had found and lost.
Having listened to The Blue Book, I was prepared for a bitter ending, and so the optimism of the unexpected final turn was a welcome surprise.
Kennedy writes elegantly. I used to listen to her Radio 4 opinion pieces, and although this audiobook was read by Dan Stephens, her writing style was recognisable; I could hear much of this as if she were the narrator.
I strongly recommend this short novel. I have added it to my list of favourite books. 10 out of 10.