Alfred Day wanted his war. In its turmoil he found his proper purpose as the tail-gunner in a Lancaster bomber; he found the wild, dark fellowship of his crew, and most extraordinary of all he found Joyce, a woman to love. But that s all gone now the war took it away. Maybe it took him, too. efore Hitler and the bombs he was a boy in Staffordshire, helpless to defend his mother, to resist his abusive father. The RAF gave him order, skills, another family and a way to be a man. It taught him how to burn through lifetimes on night ops and brief, sweet leaves, surviving the unsurvivable. But it didn t prepare him for capture, for the prison camp and the chaos as the war wound down. It didn t prepare him for an empty peace. ow it s 1949 and Alfred is doing the impossible again, winding back time to see where he lost himself. He has taken the role of an extra in a POW film. Shipped out to Germany and an ersatz camp, he picks his way through the cliches that will become all that s left of his war and begins to do what he s never dared to remember. He is looking for some semblance of hope- trying to move forward by going back. superbly realised novel about the brutal simplici
A.L. Kennedy has published four previous novels, two books of non-fiction, and three collections of short stories, most recently Indelible Acts. She has twice been selected as one of Granta's Best of Young British Novelists and has won a number of prizes including the Somerset Maugham Award, the Encore Award and the Saltire Scottish Book of the Year Award. She lives in Glasgow and is a part-time lecturer in creative writing at St Andrews.