The Clouds Above
By Andrew Greig
(Plume, Paperback, 9780452283602, 256pp.)
Publication Date: October 1, 2002
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Len, an RAF Sergeant pilot, is living for the moment, fully aware that he may not survive the brutal and horrifying air campaigns of World War II. Despite the chaos around him, Len falls in love for the first time, with Stella, a young radar operator. While Len risks his life every day fighting the war in the air, Stella tries to adapt to service life: sharing crowded barracks with other women, watching her fellow WAAFs get killed, and listening to the battles in the air on her headset. As the battles in the skies over Britain intensify, Len and Stella wrestle with the foolhardiness of wartime romance.
Told in chapters alternately narrated by the two lovers, and drawn from author Andrew Greig's mother's diaries chronicling her experiences as a nurse during the war, The Clouds Above deftly portrays both the adrenaline-rush horrors of aerial combat and the fragile but heightened romantic passions of wartime.
Andrew Greig is the prize-winning author of five books of poetry. The Clouds Above is his first novel to be published in the U.S.