Firestorm

William Coyle, Author William Morrow & Company $0 (336p) ISBN 978-0-688-07363-3
Two stories run a slow, parallel course in this novel of World War II. Australian Bernard Reardon is a tail-gunner, fighting for the RAF in Europe. Back in Australia, his sister Perpetua is a nun in the Rossclare convent. Both are young and, during the course of the war, both come of age. Bernard's comeuppance arrives with the bombing of Dresden; a sensitive chap, he's seen too much in his 70-odd missions, and Dresden is the last straw. He's sent home a shell-shocked hero. Perpetua's trauma is longer in coming. Never suited to her vocationshe joined in the first place to be her brother's spiritual protectorshe becomes disillusioned with the back-biting of her fellow nuns and tired of the rules of convent life. When a priest mutilates himself because of his passion for her, she is guilt-stricken, quits the convent and returns home. There's little action and less tension in this story. Coyle (a pseudonymn) creates stereotypical characters and has a need to explain any word longer than ``condescending.'' Extensive knowledge of the minutiae of a fictitious nun's life in the Australian 1940s is practical stuff indeed, but readers looking for action-packed aerial drama will be disappointed. (September)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1988
Release date: 01/01/1988
Hardcover - 457 pages - 978-0-8161-4800-4
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