“Nor the Years Condemn” by Justin Sheedy rated up with Australian literary classics
A RIPPING YARN UP WITH AUSTRALIAN CLASSICS
Nor the Years Condemn by Justin Sheedy – Review by Karen Carpenter
“Nor the Years Condemn” by Justin Sheedy is a novel about Australian WW2 fighter pilots, ordinary boys doing extraordinary things a million miles from home. Many away for the first time, just out of school and scared out of their wits, but still getting in there and doing their bit. The mark of a true hero. Their story needed to be told and here it has been told superbly, and with great dignity.
We see a couple of young uni students, who had never been out of the country before, or stayed away from home, signing up for what promised to be an ‘adventure of a lifetime!’ That’s what the propaganda posters of the time promised anyway. Anything learnt from the last war is lost on these young lads and lasses as they never experienced it. But their recruiting officers have, and it is their job to sell war service to the next generation, knowing full well what they are sending these kids into.
The reader sees Quinn, our main man, grow from a green boy to a man. The narrative is fluid right the way through and the detail of description brings you right in to the action. I have always been a visual reader, I can ‘see’ each scene as I read it, but this time I swear I could hear the planes as well.
One of the best things about this book is that the women were not forgotten. From Quinn’s brother’s letters describing his mother’s worry, to the WAAF girls in Britain, they are shown to play an important part in not only the war effort but in the lives of the men in battle also. The fact that women worked in high up positions in Intelligence is often lost in history and their story, rarely told, is a sad one. It is great to see that they are not forgotten here.
There were some great laugh out loud moments; a sense of humour is what kept the men and women of the time going. There were some extremely sad moments, as there are in wartime. A pilot mentions he doesn’t bother to make friends because they never last long enough. Bleak, but so true.
This book could so easily be another Australian classic. I would put it up there with the likes of “We of the Never Never”, “The Shiralee” and “Poor Man’s Orange”. Author Justin Sheedy has a true gift of story-telling, artfully turning thorough research into a ripping yarn.
NOR THE YEARS CONDEMN & Book 2 in the series, GHOSTS OF THE EMPIRE by Justin Sheedy are now available & orderable via DYMOCKS BOOKSTORES, GLEEBOOKS, BERKELOUW BOOKS AND VIA ALL BOOKSTORES, in paperback & ebook formats at AMAZON and all online sites. In the UK at WATERSTONE’S & WH SMITH AND VIA ALL BOOKSTORES. And with See ALL Reviews HERE!