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D-day Plus One: Shot Down and on the Run in France Hardcover – 1 Jul 2007
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About the Author
Frank Holland specializes in World War II History.
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I thoroughly enjoyed the book, which gives the reader a sense of what it feels like to be shot down in France, on the run and living on your wits. I also liked the way the writer gives a sense of place and time that, while comparatively recent, have now gone forever.
Well worth buying.
I know the 'ghost writer' (who cannot be a true ghost writer since he is credited with writing the book along with the man whose story he so faithfully renders into readable prose), and I was able to read the text before it was published commercially, which I thoroughly valued and enjoyed as an insight into the experiences of a family member who, without Dr Wilkins' quiet and unassuming assistance, would not, I understand, have been able to tell his own story. I do not believe that I am biased through knowing the writer, and I strove to read the text objectively, to say whether I agreed with the views of others who had also looked at it and who, I was told, had found it an interesting document.
In short, this is not the work of a stork, but someone trying to be faithful to the account that someone else, years after the event, wanted to give of life 'on the run' in those first ninety or so days after D-Day. I recall a very real sense of surprise and relief at the narrator's being alive after being shot down, and then of the ever-present fear of being found out, mixed with the strangeness of where he found himself and his means of seeking to fit in.
This is in the tradition, I take it, of oral history, not history or even sensationalism. Anyone who reads it carefully and with an open mind will, I believe, be rewarded.
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