A moving, masterfully written story of love and sacrifice, inspired by the fascinating, yet little-known mission of carrier pigeons during WWII. Perfect for fans of The Tattooist of Auschwitz and Dear Mrs Bird.
A moving, masterfully written story of love and sacrifice, perfect for fans of The Tattooist of Auschwitz and Dear Mrs Bird.
Inspired by fascinating, true, yet little-known events during World War II, The Long Flight Home is a testament to the power of courage in our darkest hours.
Hope flies behind enemy lines...
It is September 1940, and as German bombs fall on Britain, fears grow of an impending invasion.
Enemy fighter planes blacken the sky around Epping Forest, the home of Susan Shepherd and her grandfather, Bertie. After losing her parents as a child, Susan found comfort in raising homing pigeons. Duchess has proven to be the most extraordinary of all Susan's birds, as the two share a special bond and an unusual curiosity about the world.
Thousands of miles away in Buxton, Maine, a young crop-duster pilot named Ollie Evans has decided to travel to Britain to join the Royal Air Force. His quest brings him to the National Pigeon Service, where Susan is involved in a new, covert assignment. The mission aims to air-drop hundreds of homing pigeons in German-occupied France, where many will not survive. As the mission date draws near, the friendship between Ollie and Susan deepens.
When Ollie's plane is downed behind enemy lines, both know that the chances of a reunion are very remote.
Will Duchess's devotion and sense of duty become an unexpected lifeline, and prove that hope is never truly lost?
Based on true events, The Long Flight Home has everything I love in a novel-the sense of discovery, the epic drama of a life-or-death situation, and the soaring sense of hope gained from the depths of despair. It's a gorgeous, impressive first novel by a hugely talented author.
Tense, heartwarming and life affirming, The Long Flight Home gives a fresh slant on heroism in WWII
I've always been fascinated by homing pigeons, and A.L. Hlad makes these amazing birds and their trainers shine in The Long Flight Home - a sweeping tale full of romance and espionage, poignant sacrifice and missed chances, uncommon courage and the ongoing costs of war. A compelling debut told with conviction and great heart.
Hlad's debut snares readers with its fresh angle on the blitz of WWII, focusing on the homing pigeons used by the British, and the people who trained and cared for them... Descriptions of the horrors of war and the excitement of battle are engaging, and the unusual element of the carrier pigeons lends an intriguing twist. This story will speak not only to romance readers and WWII buffs but also to animal advocates and anyone who enjoys discovering quirky details that are hidden in history - Publishers Weekly
Alan Hlad, writing as A.L. Hlad, is a corporate executive turned writer who exhibits meticulous and fascinating research in his historical fiction. Alan is a seasoned conference speaker, and a member of the Historical Novel Society, Literary Cleveland, and the Akron Writers' Group.
A runner and hiker, Alan lives in Ohio with his wife and children, along with their Golden Retrievers and the world's most persistent cat.