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  • Hodder Paperbacks
  • Hodder & Stoughton
  • Hodder & Stoughton

The Long Flight Home: a heartbreaking wartime story inspired by true events

A.L. Hlad

5 Reviews

Rated 0

Second World War fiction

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.

A testament to the power of courage in our darkest hours, inspired by true events

'A fresh slant on heroism in WWII' Rhys Bowen, New York Times bestselling author

***

Hope flies behind enemy lines... September 1940.

As enemy fighter planes blacken the sky, Susan Shepherd finds comfort at her home in Epping Forest, where she and her grandfather raise homing pigeons. Of all Susan's birds, it's Duchess who is the most extraordinary, and the two share a special bond.

Thousands of miles away, Ollie Evans, a young American pilot decides to travel to Britain to join the Royal Air Force. But Ollie doesn't expect his quest to bring him instead to the National Pigeon Service - a covert new operation involving homing pigeons - and to Susan.

The National Pigeon Service has a dangerous mission to air-drop hundreds of pigeons into German-occupied France. Despite their growing friendship Ollie and Susan must soon be parted - but will Duchess's devotion and sense of duty prove to be an unexpected lifeline between them?

Based on true events, The Long Flight Home is an uplifting and timeless wartime novel, that reminds us how, in times of hardship, hope is never truly lost.

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Praise for The Long Flight Home: a heartbreaking wartime story inspired by true events

  • 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

  • The Long Flight Home is a charming historical novel by Alan Hlad. With clear, vivid prose he recalls the mostly-forgotten, but intriguing RAF experiment, and sensitively explores the growing relationship between Ollie and Susan - Historical Novel Society

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A.L. Hlad

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.

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