Sunday, February 1, 2015

WINGS by Pete Abela

Wings is a stirring, cross-generational account of the love of flying inspired by the true story of Walt, a WWII RAF pilot, and his grandson Scott who has his sights set on becoming a modern day airline pilot.
Wings weaves together two tales: one set in war-torn northern England, and the other set in the modern-day Illawarra region of New South Wales.
As Scott learns about the sacrifices and difficulties Walt overcame to take to the sky, he battles his own challenges in order to follow his dream. As Scott progresses, his grandfather declines – Walt loses his wife, his sight and his hearing – but throughout these difficulties is still there to offer support and encouragement.
In following Scott's progress towards his dream, Walt also keeps alive the wonder of his own youth.
 With insights into the modern day aviation scene and life in the Royal Air Force of World War II, this is a must for anyone who has an interest in history, aviation or simply an old fashioned love story.


Walt was examining the girl’s wares, and he liked what he saw.
A clear complexion adorned her pretty face, which bore a hint of a smile even as she concentrated on the knick-knacks in the window. Her legs were slim, shapely and well-toned.
“Get on with it, Wally.” Jolted out of his reverie by Sam’s barking command, Walt’s face reddened as he resumed his polishing. “Actually, you can take a rest – there’s something I need to talk to you about.”
Walt put down the scrunched up newspaper, turning to face Sam who was leaning on the scarred surface of the counter. “What is it, sir?”
“I’m selling the shop, Wally,” replied Sam. He patted his expansive paunch. “As you know, I’m not getting any younger and the time has come for me to retire.”
“I’ll be sorry to see you go, sir. I feel I’ve really got to know you over the last year or two that I’ve been working here. Although you’ve worked me hard, I’ve enjoyed myself. Things won’t be the same without you.”
“Thank you, Wally. You might like to know I’ve had a bit of interest from potential purchasers so far, although nothing firm. I’ll be recommending to whoever buys the shop that they keep you on. The last five minutes notwithstanding, you’ve been an excellent employee – punctual, hard-working and cheerful.”
Although pleased to hear the praise, Walt couldn’t help feeling a little trepidation about what a new boss might mean. “Thank you, sir.”
“That’s all, Wally – back to it.”
“Yes, sir.”
Walt redirected his attention to the window. He snuck a quick glance across the street, but the girl had obviously moved on and the window at Kenyon’s was now bare. He looked up and down the street but there was no sign of her. With a sigh, he resumed his polishing.

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Pete heralds from the city of Wollongong, just south of Sydney in the state of New South Wales, Australia, where he lives with his wife and four kids. His love of reading eventually led him to take up writing, a difficult task which presents rewards and challenges in equal measure.
A Painted Room is Pete’s second book, and follows his debut novel, Wings (2012).

When he’s not working, reading, writing or enjoying the company of his family, Pete likes to sneak away for a bit of exercise – either tennis, golf or a refreshing swim.

You can find more about Pete at his website and blog (
The blog contains a number of bad jokes and puns. You have been warned.

I really like the concept of hearing life stories paralled between different generations.

Walt is an old man and his history of being a pilot is behind him. He flew during time of war.
Scott's story starts before he is even old enough to drive a car. 
His dream of becoming a pilot is fresh and growing stronger.

Besides the flying dreams and stories shared in this wonderful novel, we also get to experience
the family dynamics and emotions. We follow both Walter and Scott as they discover girls and 
eventually settle down. The strong women they pair up with have to support their dreams.

It is an inspiring novel about remaining true to your dreams and doing what must be done to accomplish them.
It is a story about friendship that occasionally involves sorrow.

I would recommend this book to teen readers through adult.

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