Bird's Eye View

Bird's Eye View

by Elinor Florence


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A Toronto Star Bestseller!
Rose, a Canadian intelligence officer in Britain in World War II, struggles with conflicting feelings about the war and a superior's attention.

Rose Jolliffe is an idealistic young woman living on a farm with her family in Saskatchewan. After Canada declares war against Germany in World War II, she joins the British Women's Auxiliary Air Force as an aerial photographic interpreter. Working with intelligence officers at RAF Medmenham in England, Rose spies on the enemy from the sky, watching the war unfold through her magnifying glass.

When her commanding officer, Gideon Fowler, sets his sights on Rose, both professionally and personally, her prospects look bright. But can he be trusted? As she becomes increasingly disillusioned by the destruction of war and Gideon's affections, tragedy strikes, and Rose's world falls apart.

Rose struggles to rebuild her shattered life, and finds that victory ultimately lies within herself. Her path to maturity is a painful one, paralleled by the slow, agonizing progress of the war and Canada's emergence from Britain's shadow.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781459721432
Publisher: Dundurn Press
Publication date: 11/18/2014
Pages: 384
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Elinor Florence is a journalist whose career spans five provinces, from editing daily newspapers, including the Winnipeg Sun, to writing for Reader's Digest Canada. Most recently she published her own award-winning community newspaper. Elinor grew up on a Saskatchewan farm and now lives in the mountain resort town of Invermere, British Columbia.

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Bird's Eye View 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
ebogie More than 1 year ago
Before we had Google Earth and other satellite images to spy on our neighbors, what did a country do during a war to get information about the enemy's plans? It's something I hadn't thought of, but Bird's Eye View, by first-time author Elinor Florence, explains aerial photographic interpretation during WWII very simply, through the eyes of a young Canadian woman who joins the British RAF to do her part during the war.  Rose has grown up on a farm in Saskatchewan, Canada. While she loves her family and town, she longs to see the world, as do many people raised in small towns. When Canada enters WWII, she finds a way: join the British Royal Air Force. Canada won't accept women in their Air Force, but if she pays her own way to Britain she can join up and help the war effort, feeding her patriotic need to be involved. During the Atlantic crossing, Rose gets her first taste of the danger into which she is heading, as the ship on which she is traveling begins lurching back and forth in order to evade the enemy. "I had a funny feeling in the soles of my feet as I imagined a German submarine below the ship, aiming a torpedo at our massive hull. It was the first time that I. Rose Marie Jolliffe, was in personal danger from the enemy. It would take some getting used to." Arriving in Britain, Rose's abilities have her assigned to Medmenham Air Force Base as an aerial photography interpreter. Having taken over the enormous Danesfield House estate, the RAF had quick, agile airplanes with their best pilots flying across the English Channel to photograph French cities and countryside. The film was rushed back to base, developed and given to the interpreters, who pored over the photos for hours, comparing changes since previous photos, looking for possible armories, convoys, or other signs of militarization. In the months leading up to D-Day they developed over fifty thousand photographs a day, one million in May alone! Although I am a lover of historical fiction, WWII has not been one of my big time periods. I learned so much from this book, and it was presented in an easy to follow manner, without too many technical details, but enough that I understood. It wasn't just about the photographic interpreters, either. Medmenham was a huge air force base with bombers and supply planes taking off all the time. The interpreters get to know some of the pilots and are just as affected by the battle casualties as the airmen. Rose finds the work exhilarating, and she is very good at it. The interpreters also analyze photos during and after battles, like the bombing of Hamburg. "I lined up the first pair of photographs under my stereoscope and bent my head. As they came into focus, I felt my body lift and soar above a picture of destruction unlike anything I had every seen. Although these photographs had been taken long before dawn, the glare from the inferno below created an effect of daylight." Danger, romance, history and adventure are all wrapped up in a well-written story about a sympathetic character who experiences extreme personal growth. If you enjoy The Bletchley Circle, Island at War, or The Imitation Game, you will love Bird's Eye View. Many thanks to the author for a copy in exchange for my honest review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Historical perspective from a female in WWII.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read this book in one sitting. With a degree in history and Canadian relatives from Dinsmore, SK, I feel this was an accurate feeling of folks from the Prairie and patriotism. As a former USAF WAF, the military service commentary rang true as well. I've read stories of nurses, women pilots, and others who served in WWII, however this is a unique view of the war, triumph and loss. Well done.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Such a fantastic book! Loved the storyline and location and the characters as well!! Very special