Shute, Nevil. Landfall: a Channel Story. London: Heron, 1969.
Reason read: the movie version of Landfall was released in May of 1949.
Roderick “Jerry” Chambers is a young and ambitious officer in the Royal Air Force. The story opens with Jerry meeting sweet Mona Stevens at a dance. This chance encounter proves to be a blessing in disguise for Jerry later in the story.
The early stages of World War II serves as the backdrop for Landfall. Jerry has been conducting air patrols off the southern coast of England. He’s a good pilot and on one mission he skillfully sinks what he thinks to be a German submarine, only to find all evidence points to it actually being British. While Chambers ultimately escapes disciplinary action, he shamefully retreats to a post as far away as possible from the disaster in northern England. Meanwhile, Mona has been eavesdropping on officers in the snack bar where she works. Despite the black mark on Jerry’s career Mona has stuck by him. Pretty soon she is able to discern what really happened with Jerry regarding the British submarine business. Only, it might be too late to clear his name. Jerry has been seriously wounded in an bombing experiment and rumor has it he may not make it through the night.
As an aside, all of Shute’s women (So far On the Beach and Landfall) are easy going and thoughtful with a keen sense of humor.
Best quote, “So let them pass, small people of no great significance, caught up and swept together like dead leaves in the great whirlwind of the war” (p 499).
Author fact: Shute had a stammer that hindered him from joining the Royal Flying Corps.
Book trivia: My borrowed copy had illustrations by Charles Keeping. They were cool.
Nancy said: nothing.
BookLust Twist: from More Book Lust in the obvious chapter called, “Nevil Shute: Too Good To Miss” (p 199).