A new wartime novel by Elinor Florence of Invermere tells the story of a young woman from Saskatchewan who goes overseas in the Second World War and becomes an aerial photographic interpreter.
Florence will be at the Greater Vernon Museum and Archives to speak about her book and sign copies, Sunday, Nov. 30.
Published by Toronto’s Dundurn Press, Bird’s Eye View is proving so popular among prairie people and history buffs that it has already gone into its second printing.
“There’s a real appetite for a wartime story told from a woman’s point of view, especially a Canadian woman,” said Florence, who grew up on a former wartime airport near North Battleford, Sask.
Her heroine, Rose Jolliffe, is working for a newspaper in the fictional town of Touchwood, Sask. when her town becomes an air training base.
Fired with patriotism, Rose joins the air force herself – one of 50,000 Canadian women who enlisted to support the fighting men.
She travels overseas and becomes an interpreter of aerial photographs, spying on the enemy from the sky, searching out camouflaged bomb targets on the continent. Rose keeps in touch with the home front through frequent letters from her mother.
And throughout the war, she has a bird’s eye view of the Canadian experience – at Dieppe, in the skies over Germany, on the beaches of Normandy – and finally, when our country shared in the Allied victory.
Florence is a journalist who has worked for newspapers in all four western provinces, and was a regular contributor to Reader’s Digest before publishing the weekly newspaper The Columbia Valley Pioneer in Invermere.
Bird’s Eye View is her first novel. It’s available now from bookstores and as an ebook.
Florence will be at the Greater Vernon Museum and Archives Sunday from 1:30 p.m. Admission is by donation at the door.
For more information, and to read Florence’s weekly non-fiction blog, Wartime Wednesdays, visit www.elinorflorence.com.