To find ON A WING AND A PRAYER at your local AMAZON store click on required edition above
ON A WING AND A PRAYER follows the war into its third year and people in Lavender Road are now pushed to the limit. Everyday life is hard enough in London in 1941, but it becomes much harder when the constant anxiety for loved ones, the demands on courage and the privations of war are added into the mix.
And yet for one person in Lavender Road, Helen de Burrel, the real implications of being at war becomes even more personal when she finds herself volunteering to join the Special Operations Executive. Nobody knows that her cool exterior conceals such courage....and such fear. But it is 1941, and for her at least, the sense that each day could be her last spurs her on. It also means that love, when it strikes unexpectedly, is doubly dangerous.
'In this dramatic and poignant novel, Helen Carey depicts the courage and resilience of ordinary people caught up in an extraordinary war.'
I always rather fancied the idea of being a spy, so when Helen de Burrel suddenly decided to apply to join the Special Operations Executive at the beginning of this novel I found myself delving into the shadowy world of wartime espionage with some relish. Like the residents of Lavender Road I was by now pretty exhausted by wartorn London and it was nice to have a new challenge. But although highly enjoyable, my research was also humbling. Those wartime agents and saboteurs took the concept of courage to a whole new level. They knew what lay ahead if they were caught or betrayed and still they did what they felt was right.
My favourite scene in this novel is when Helen comes back to Toulon after giving the injured Ward Frazer her place on the rescue plane and finds André Cabillard sitting in her room. I think the whole novel is worth reading just for that one scene!
But it is not all about Helen de Burrel. Life in Lavender Road provides its own challenges and treachery and my own challenge in this novel was to keep the momentum of my little cast of characters and to create problems and ambitions for them that would help to develop their characters, to provide readability, empathy, emotion and humour and a sense for the reader of living with them through the war.
'This is a great book. It's unusual to find a novel that encompasses so much, the London sections are thoroughly engaging, and the French sections are exciting and dramatic. The whole novel is beautifully constructed. It never flags. Storytelling at its best.'
'My wife told me to read this and although I was sceptical at first I thoroughly enjoyed it. I am going back to read the other books right now.'
'I hated Louise Rutherford in Lavender Road so how did it come about that I was rooting for her all the way through this book? It's because the characters in these novels are completely three dimensional, there are no 'goodies and baddies' here, Helen Carey understands what people are really like and creates a world where her characters are forced to act in ways that show their true colours.'
ON A WING AND A PRAYER is published in the UK by HEADLINE BOOKS - the cover image in other countries may vary.