Doodlebug Summer

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Alison Prince
A & C Black
Mar 2006
�We know what the things are now. Doodlebugs, people call them. Flying bombs� They�re packed with explosive, and they work on a rocket motor that stops when it runs out of fuel. Sometimes they nose-dive and blow up at once, other times they glide for a long way, you never know.�

It is the paradoxical sense of knowledge and yet of malignant uncertainty that Alison Prince has captured so well in �Doodlebug Summer�. Set in Blitz-ravaged London environs in 1944, this deceptively complex, short novel pulls together narrative threads that provide an astute look at familial concern, the resultant impact of advancements in technological warfare upon civilians and a sensitive portrayal of the horrors imbued within themechanics of conflict rather than the villification of a set of people, or of an abject construct of �nationhood� wholesale.

�...the great, glossy concert grand pianos are made in Germany, the country we are fighting. There must be people there who like us, sick of the war.�

There�s a beautiful fullness in the symmetry between the opening and close of this novel as Katie and her friend Pauline climb their tree. The tree itself is grounded in the presents with far-reaching roots... from the boughs of the tree is a standpoint with an enviable panorama into the future.

�Flash Backs�, the series within which �Doodlebug Summer� sits is a collection of historical novels published by A & C Black with the aim of expounding key historical moments through strong short pacy reads. Useful historical notes are provided towards the rear of the novel, as too is a glossary of more speciailised areas of diction used in telling the story.

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This page contains a single entry by Jacob published on April 13, 2006 1:41 PM.

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