Gillian Chan's A Foreign Field (Book Review)

Phyl CampbellStarred Page By Phyl Campbell, 23rd May 2014 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/1ccg-go-/
Posted in Wikinut>Reviews>Books>Dramatic Fiction

On May 26, 2014, Americans and people around the world will celebrate Memorial Day. Memorial Day is a day we honor all our veterans and those in military service. Though author Gillian Chan is Canadian born, the efforts of her book, _A Foreign Field_, are very appropriate Memorial Day reading.

A Foreign Field Summary

The year is 1942. Young Ellen Logan shoulders many family responsibilities with two older brothers flying planes for the cause and her parents embroiled in Canada's war effort. Enter Stephen Dearborn -- a young British pilot come to Canada for training against his father's wishes. He does not need his unit to know he is too young to be on such a foreign field. He wishes he could better hide the fact that every night he dreams of the fiery plane crash that will end his life.

(Start at about 3:00 for Dearborn's viewpoint of the Halifax, but the whole video is interesting if you like WWII planes.)

Miss Logan does not think too much of LAC Dearborn. She'd rather not be thinking of boys at all -- unlike her friends, who swoon over them. And certainly not this boy. Despite the twists and turns and all good intentions, they do fall for one another, which is about the only predictable element of this book.

LAC Dearborn becomes S Dearborn and must leave Canada with his company to fight the Axis powers near his home. Miss Logan must come to terms with her feelings while helping others who are much worse off than she. Chan handles all of this with the grace of someone who has not forgotten what it is to be a teenager of the 1940s or any other era.

Commentary

This is one of many books I finished over just a few days. I liked the letters home from LAC Dearborn to his sister and mother while trying to bring his father 'round to seeing why he had to leave to fight in the war. I like the dream sequences that caught me off guard. They provided excellent foreshadowing without making one fully aware of what was being foreshadowed. I liked the feeling that I knew something big was going to happen without exactly being able to put my finger on what that big something was. Chan's character development was quite good, and I enjoyed seeing how Miss Logan differed from her friends and frenemies.

Though life went on, as it must, I don't think the reader could ever put from mind that there was a war on, and efforts made meant something. Boys really do say dumb things that girls believe to get laid, and there really are consequences for those actions. Boys really do get scared of the idea of going off to fight or die, and running away also has its consequences. And even during world war, there are civil wars at home -- young women trying to make their own names and places for themselves in the world without parental approval; young boys trying to grow up fast so they can be heroes of legend; parents trying to keep their children young while allowing them to grow and not knowing which ways are correct for rearing them. All with the constant knowledge and threat of World War looming on the doorstep -- and sometimes closer than that.

But Don't Take My Word For It!!

Am I biased in my reviews? Certainly. It. Is. My. Review. One hundred percent my opinions, thoughts, and feelings about Gillian Chan's A Foreign Field. If it were not my thoughts and opinions, it would be a pretty pointless review (or plagiarism!). Want to see other people's reviews? There are many that may interest you at Goodreads.

But if you prefer reading about MY book experiences -- and oh, I hope you do -- please check out my other reviews:

The Primrose Way
Sorority Girls With Guns
Jump, Fall
When The Lights Go Up
The Magic Wakes
April and the Dragon Lady
Ties That Bind, Ties That Break
Almost Magic

Coming Soon:
Book Reviews on Veronica Roth's Divergent Series! Stay Tuned!!

Not enough? Check out other reviews, original short stories, book chapters, and all kinds of things from my home page.

What are you doing to celebrate Memorial Day? Or do you? Both my grandfathers are retired military. They've been dead 12 and 30 years now, but both bravely served the US and I am quite proud of their service. I have many friends in the service, and I wish them the best until we have world peace and every soldier comes home.

Tags

Book, Britain, Canada, Chan, Gillian Chan, Historical Fiction, Pilots, Ww2, Wwii

Meet the author

author avatar Phyl Campbell
I am "Author, Mother, Dreamer." I am also teacher, friend, Dr. Pepper addict, night-owl. Visit my website -- phylcampbell.com -- or the "Phyl Campbell Author Page" on Facebook.

Share this page

moderator Mark Gordon Brown moderated this page.
If you have any complaints about this content, please let us know

Comments

author avatar Carol
24th May 2014 (#)

very interesting Phyl many thanks.

Reply to this comment

author avatar Phyl Campbell
24th May 2014 (#)

Thanks, Ms. Author of the Day!

Reply to this comment

author avatar cnwriter..carolina
24th May 2014 (#)

a great review indeed Phyl..you are spreading your wings and I love the results...

Reply to this comment

author avatar Phyl Campbell
24th May 2014 (#)

Thanks Carolina. Reviews should be a staple of authors. Good writers devour books. ;) IMHO, of course!!

Reply to this comment

author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
25th May 2014 (#)

Thanks for this review. Phyl - hope another World War will not happen - just not worth it at all - siva

Reply to this comment

author avatar Phyl Campbell
25th May 2014 (#)

No argument here!

Reply to this comment

author avatar Kingwell
27th May 2014 (#)

Good review!

Reply to this comment

author avatar Phyl Campbell
27th May 2014 (#)

Thanks, Kingwell!!

Reply to this comment

author avatar Fern Mc Costigan
28th May 2014 (#)

Nice review as well thanks for teh suggestuion my dear phyl your awesome coverage of many topics fascinates me as well everyone in the forum, by the way I found this book on Amazon for a good price!

Reply to this comment

author avatar Phyl Campbell
28th May 2014 (#)

Awesome! And thanks, man! ;)

Reply to this comment

author avatar Ptrikha
28th May 2014 (#)

Nice review. I am thinking of making a "Wishlist" of the books I want to read, and will add this one to that list.

Reply to this comment

author avatar Phyl Campbell
28th May 2014 (#)

Great! My wishlist is almost as numerous as my book collection!! ;)

Reply to this comment

author avatar Teila
31st May 2014 (#)

What an interesting book thanks for sharing this review!

Reply to this comment

author avatar Phyl Campbell
31st May 2014 (#)

Thanks, Teila!!

Reply to this comment

author avatar snerfu
11th Sep 2014 (#)

Nice insight into the book, albeit one that has Phyl flavor. Book noted.

Reply to this comment

author avatar Phyl Campbell
11th Sep 2014 (#)

"Phyl flavor." Mmmm. I like that!

Reply to this comment

Add a comment
Username
Can't login?
Password