- Published: 3 April 2017
- ISBN: 9780143770527
- Imprint: Puffin
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 288
- RRP: $16.99
It was still dark when Jack heard the noise.
They were nearly all on deck. It was too hot to sleep below. Anyway, they’d heard the stories of men trapped in the depths of a torpedoed ship, tearing at hatches jammed shut by explosions. You had a better chance of surviving on deck.
The metal under Jack’s feet trembled as their troopship charged towards the coast. This was the danger time: German U-boats often lurked near British ports, waiting to send torpedoes crashing into vessels just when they thought they’d made it. But Jack was pretty sure the noise he’d heard came from above — would they be bombed instead? He peered up into the darkness; strained his ears to hear above the troopship’s engines.
The rumour flitting around Western Star yesterday was that they’d be heading for one of the northern ports, Liverpool or Glasgow maybe. Hitler’s bombers had blitzed those cities from bases in Occupied Norway, France and Holland. Britain had been battered from all sides. Please let me be part of the striking back, Jack prayed. Please don’t let me be killed before I’ve even set foot in the country.
Jack’s stomach clenched as a black shape swept past, just 50 yards away, white water curling at its bow. One of the destroyer escorts, guns swivelling from side to side, depth-charge crews in position at the stern. Their own troopship had only a single anti-aircraft gun, mounted on the aft deck.
‘What bloody use is that against a Messerschmitt?’ Bluey the Australian radio operator had grunted.
Across the blacked-out deck, Jack could just make out the nearest faces: Reg, Bluey, a couple of the French blokes, Stefan the Polish co-pilot, who hated all Germans. Beyond them were two identical chunky shapes: the twins from Christchurch, Paul and Pete.
Jack’s hands clenched around the rail. Surely they wouldn’t meet any trouble so close to land? He’d waited so long to get here. He’d come halfway around the world: from a New Zealand Air Force training camp to Canada and more training, along with volunteers from so many nations, then across the Atlantic to England. If a Nazi U-boat or night-fighter saw them now . . .
He jerked as other men exclaimed and pointed upwards. ‘There! Starboard!’
How many of us know our neighbours? Interact with our greengrocer? Know the names of the people who make our clothing?
IT TOOK BOBBY a week to decide where to park. It had to be close to the wedding, but not too close.
One hundred and thirty-five metres above London, with one of the most spectacular city views in the world as your backdrop, who could say no?
April in Melbourne is always glorious but through most of the autumn of 2020, between the hours of five and six, there was an exquisite clarity to the rose-gold sheen of the sky
This book tells the story of a connected wave of revolution across Asia from its beginnings in the first years of the twentieth century to a crescendo of protest, rebellion and war between 1925 and 1927.
Captain Omar Rahal tracked the small boat racing across the placid waters of the narrow strait.
DEVON MONROE TORE HIS EYES off the two dead bodies in the powder-blue Bentley convertible, top down, idling not twenty yards away, and glanced at his best friend.
In case it’s not obvious to all readers, this is a work of satire, and while names may be real, the actions or statements of any person mentioned in this book must not be taken literally by anyone reading it.
I am Saroo Brierley’s second mother. He came into the lives of me and my husband, John, as a six-year-old from India, making us parents for the first time.