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The Good Pilot, Peter Woodhouse by Alexander McCall Smith
  

The Good Pilot, Peter Woodhouse

Literary Fiction   Books for Christmas   Books of the Month   Historical Fiction   eBook Favourites   Relationship Stories   
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November 2017 Book of the Month

The Peter Woodhouse of the title is a dog rescued from a cruel farmer and “hidden” at an American Airforce Camp where he becomes their lucky mascot with a penchant for flying. This is 1944. Val is a land girl, Mike an American pilot. They fall in love and decide to marry but before they do Mike, the dog and a navigator are shot down over Holland. Unbeknownst to Val, who is now pregnant, they all survive. A compassionate German soldier, Ubi, helps them. The war ends, Mike, dog and navigator return to England, Ubi to Germany and we follow all their eventful and eventually linking lives. This is sensitive and gently told but now drama mounts and tragedy sets in as the years unfold with lots of surprises including bizarrely a Motodrom, until 1981. It is a stand-alone tale which the author frequently produces but this one is very different from his norm, not as light hearted and quirky as most. ~ Sarah Broadhurst

If you like Alexander McCall Smith you might also like to read books by Tony Hillerman, Nicholas Drayson and Jonas Jonasson.

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Synopsis

The Good Pilot, Peter Woodhouse by Alexander McCall Smith

Val was working as a land girl when the Americans arrived at the nearby airfield in 1944. Mike, a young American airman, came into her life soon after, and so too did Peter Woodhouse, a dog badly treated on a neighbouring farm and taken in by her aunt. Little persuasion was needed for Mike to take Peter Woodhouse to the airbase and over time he became the mascot of the American squad, flying with them whenever their Mosquitoes took to the skies.

When their plane is shot down over Holland both Mike and his canine companion are feared lost. But unknown to their loved ones at home, Mike and Peter Woodhouse survived the crash. Taken in by the Dutch resistance and with the help of Ubi, a German officer, the pair to remain in hiding till the end of the war when they are reunited with Val.

We then follow Val, Mike and Peter Woodhouse as they rebuild a life in England. And Ubi as he returns to Germany at the end of the war and tries to build a new life for himself. His dream is to run a Wall of Death, a circus ring that pitts motorcyclists against gravity as they attempt to stay upright at ever increasing speed...

About the Author

Alexander McCall Smith

Alexander McCall Smith was our Guest Editor in July 2011 - click here - to see the books that inspired his writing.

Alexander McCall Smith is one of the world’s most prolific and most popular authors. His career has been a varied one: for many years he was a professor of Medical Law and worked in universities in the United Kingdom and abroad. Then, after the publication of his highly successful No 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series, which has sold over twenty-five million copies, he devoted his time to the writing of fiction and has seen his various series of books translated into forty-six languages and become bestsellers through the world. These include the Scotland Street novels, first published as a serial novel in the Scotsman newspaper, the Isabel Dalhousie novels, the von Igelfeld series, and the Corduroy Mansions series, novels which started life as a delightful (but challenging to write) cross-media serial, written on the website of the Telegraph Media Group. This series won two major cross-media awards - Association of Online Publishers Digital Publishing Award 2009 for a Cross Media Project and the New Media Age award. Alexander is also the author of collections of short stories, academic works, and over thirty books for children. He has received numerous awards for his writing, including the British Book Awards Author of the Year Award in 2004 and a CBE for service to literature in 2007. He holds honorary doctorates from nine universities in Europe and North America. In March 2011 he received an award from the President of Botswana for his services through literature to that country. Alexander McCall Smith lives in Edinburgh. He is married to a doctor and has two daughters.

Click here to read an exclusive interview with Alexander McCall Smith by Mary Hogarth.

A Lovereading guide to the works of Alexander McCall Smith...

The No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency was first published in 1998 and then, suddenly, it took off in America to the extent that no less than11 reprints were required in 2003.

Since then, so prolific has been his output, and so has his popularity soared, that there was a time when the sheer multitude of McCall Smith's books led to confusion as to which book fitted into each of the various series under which he writes. One has hardly been able to keep up with the sheer abundance of books published - we reckon at least thirty in less than a decade.

Now, thankfully, things have settled down and the legions of McCall Smiths avid fans can compartmentalise his new books into the four main series under which they sit - The No.1 Ladies Detective Agency Series, The Isabel Dalhousie Novels, The 44 Scotland Street Series and The Corduroy Mansions Series with a few more on top!

There are constant features across the whole panoply of McCall Smith's output. Wry and witty observations about the day-to-day lives of normal people. An innocence and delight in the human condition. And, always, a twinkle on the eye shared by writer and reader. He is a happy writer and that makes for happy readers.

He is best known for the following 4 series of novels (they are shown below in the order they were published) :-

The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series: The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, Tears of the Giraffe, Morality for Beautiful Girls, The Kalahari Typing School for Men, The Full Cupboard of Life, In the Company of Cheerful Ladies, Blue Shoes and Happiness, The Good Husband of Zebra Drive, The Miracle at Speedy Motors, Tea Time for the Traditionally Built, The Double Comfort Safari Club, The Saturday Big Tent Wedding Party, The Limpopo Academy of Private Detection, The Minor Adjustment Beauty Salon, The Handsome Man's De Luxe Cafe, The Woman Who Walked in Sunshine, Precious and Grace.

Isabel Dalhousie series: The Sunday Philosophy Club,Friends, Lovers, Chocolate, The Right Attitude to Rain, The Careful Use of Compliments, The Comfort of Saturdays, The Lost Art of Gratitude, The Charming Quirks of Others, The Forgotten Affairs of Youth, The Uncommon Appeal of Clouds, The Novel Habits of Happiness.

44 Scotland Street series: 44 Scotland Street, Espresso Tales, Love Over Scotland, The World According to Bertie, The Unbearable Lightness of Scones, The Importance of Being Seven, Bertie Plays the Blues, Sunshine on Scotland Street, Bertie's Guide to Life and Mothers, The Revolving Door of Life, The Bertie Project, A Time of Love and Tartan.

Corduroy Mansions Series: Corduroy Mansions, The Dog Who Came in from the Cold, A Conspiracy of Friends.

Author Photo © Graham Clark

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Book Info

Publication date

2nd November 2017

Author

Alexander McCall Smith

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Author's Website

www.alexandermccallsmith.co...

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Publisher

Polygon An Imprint of Birlinn Limited an imprint of Birlinn General

Format

Hardback
256 pages

Categories

Literary Fiction
Books for Christmas
Books of the Month
Historical Fiction
eBook Favourites
Relationship Stories

Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)
Adult & contemporary romance
Historical fiction
Adventure
Second World War fiction

ISBN

9781846974090

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