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Bird's Eye View Paperback – Oct 25 2014

4.9 out of 5 stars 101 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Dundurn (Oct. 25 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1459721438
  • ISBN-13: 978-1459721432
  • Product Dimensions: 13.9 x 2.1 x 21.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 522 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars 101 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #71,121 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

Review

This debut novel is filled with drama, romance and plenty of colourful Canadian wartime history.
(BC Booklook)

While the story may be one of fiction, Florence hasn’t escaped her reporting past so easily, with large amounts of research and historical facts surrounding her characters. (Penticton Western News)

Simply put, Bird's Eye View is the best book I have read in the past year. Not only is the book well-crafted and researched, but so convincing that it is hard to believe it is a novel and not an autobiography. I could hardly put the book down, but did so after each chapter or two because I didn't want to race through it, and preferred to savour the story over more time. Although aviation research is a major field of my work, I knew virtually nothing about wartime photo interpretation, so a bonus for me was learning about that. Elinor's book provides an accurate picture of an aspect of wartime life both for those in uniform and the effects on civilians, centered on the mail character in the story. This book will be of interest to anyone with an interest in the Second World War, but stands on its own as a fine read for anyone who appreciates good literature. I have recommended it to many family and friends, and after reading the book they share my opinion of it. (John Chalmers, Canadian Aviation Hall of Fame, Amazon review)

Everything Florence writes is vividly alive, but those who remember V-E Day will feel it’s April 1945 on reading this story. (Charlottetown Guardian)

Bird’s Eye View is a great work of historical fiction. (Cochrane Eagle)

And this is where the book becomes amazing. I learned more about British and allied wartime intelligence than in any other book I’ve read on the subject. (Rural Roots)

About the Author

Elinor Florence is a journalist whose career spans five provinces, from editing daily newspapers, including the Winnipeg Sun, to writing for Reader's Digest Canada. Most recently she published her own award-winning community newspaper. Elinor grew up on a Saskatchewan farm and now lives in the mountain resort town of Invermere, British Columbia.

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Another gem of historical fiction from Dundurn. Bird's Eye View by Elinor Florence tells the story of a naive Saskatchewan farmer's daughter joining the ranks of the WRAF after her RAF pilot is killed flying in the Commonwealth Training Program. Rose sails to Britain, and serves as an interpreter of images taken by bombers over Europe. She has a natural eye for detail in this demanding work.
But the book is much more than this. It is a coming of age story in the best tradition. Rose suffers homesickness, culture shock, military rules, and class snobbery. She makes mistakes, falls for the wrong man, is badly injured in a London bombing, and suffers severely during her convalescence.
The author has created a compelling story with excellent research underpinning it all and a very believable protagonist. Though I knew something about the work of photo interpreters, this book filled me in on this fascinating and vital work. I was fully engaged with Bird's Eye VIew from beginning to end. It's a page turner.
Highly recommended for those who enjoy good historical fiction and also perhaps for some military history buffs.
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Format: Paperback
My book club has just read and discussed this book and we would highly recommend it to others. The author attended our meeting and gave an excellent visual presentation and discussed the writing of her book. The story gives insight into many aspects of WW II especially the roles of Canadian women during that time. Through reading this book, I became more aware of the many ways that Canadians were involved in the war.
Because the heroine Rose joins The British Women's Air Force, we also get a vivid picture of what it was like living and working in Britain at that time. There are some excellent descriptions and insights. An example is: " War was a ravenous monster tearing chunks out of happy families leaving them crippled and bleeding".We watch Rose's life change from an idealistic farm girl to a mature woman who has experience sadness and loss.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A well-written and carefully researched novel. We had family living in London throughout WW2 and our father was a bomber pilot for the RCAF, and this story brings this time to life for us in a way that's compelling and unique. Aviation and history buffs we've spoken with at one of her personal appearances here in Alberta were impressed with her attention to accurate detail. We've been pleased to give copies as gifts and to recommend it for purchase, and we're looking forward to Ms Florence's next project, but in the meantime we appreciate reading her regular blog entries that extend our knowledge of this period. Well done!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Excellent information for a number of us that were not aware of this part of Canadian history! Including myself being born in London 1936 and had the full experience at the receiving end of WW2 and although too young to fully understand the blitz do remember the nightly air raid sirens warning us to go to the bomb shelters and later the W1's (we knew them as 'doodle bugs' which were slow enough to be seen and guessed as to their target) and W2 rockets (these were faster, larger and landed with such a huge flash that it was surprising if there was anything left in the vicinity of the explosion).
I also was completely unaware, even to this day, how aerial photography was used and interpreted (by Canadians also) with such clever and imaginative results.
The story was so well written that at the beginning of the read wondered if it was in fact an autobiography. Thoroughly recommend.
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Format: Paperback
This is both an enjoyable book to read and at the same time a history book on the lives of the people in Canada and England before and during WW II. I very much enjoyed this book and would recommend it to each and everyone who has an interest in the living conditions and the human profile of the people that serviced Canada and the free world. There are funny sides to the book and then there are some very serious issues that happen in the story. The book ends with a positive note and a bit of a surprise also.

I will be putting this book back on the shelve (once my wife reads it) and plan to re read it at a later date.
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Format: Paperback
I've given this book to a dozen friends of all ages in both Canada and the US. Everyone has given the most positive feedback and passed it on to friends and family. The story is a fascinating look at a little-known piece of history that appeals to both women and men. My mother-in-law was moved to tears as it brought back memories of the Second World War watching airmen fly over the Prairies. I loved everything about this story. Sure makes you proud of our Canadian women!
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Format: Kindle Edition
I was so pleased to receive this book as a gift. It was high times that the brave women who put their lives at risk for us during WW II are remembered and their stories told. I am looking forward to Elinor's next book there are so many stories to tell about that time. Ladies be proud and enjoy the book.
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Format: Kindle Edition
This one is a real page-turner. The main characters, mainly young rural Saskatchewanians caught up in the Second World War, are believable and memorable. The plot is exciting and full of incident, and the author has an interesting story to tell. The Prairies during the war are rendered very believably, as is England in wartime. There's enough fact here to delight history buffs, as Elinor Florence describes the operations of the photo interpretation unit of the Royal Air Force, but it's wrapped up in such an exciting story that it's anything but dry fact.
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