Pastoral
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Pastoral

3.83 of 5 stars 3.83  ·  rating details  ·  482 ratings  ·  36 reviews
World War II pilot Peter Marshall leads the most successful bombing crew at his airbase, having survived an unusual number of extremely dangerous missions over Germany. However, when Peter falls hopelessly in love with an attractive WAAF officer—one who insists that wartime duties should take precedence over emotions—his concentration begins to suffer. Soon it looks as tho...more
Paperback, 294 pages
Published July 1st 2002 by House of Stratus (first published 1944)
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Rose Mary


"Pastoral" was one of the many Nevil Shute novels I read when I was 12. I later ran into it again in 1973 in a British bookstore in Bangkok . At the time (the tail-end of the Viet Nam War) I was a WAF captain stationed at an air base on the central plateau of Thailand.

I wondered if Gervase Robertson, the heroine I had read so many years before, had led me there--into the Air Force in a time of war.
Michael
I'm not sure why Nevil Shute isn't a better known writer, as this is the second book of his that ended up being absolutely wonderful. This story of a British bomber pilot during World War II who falls in love with a female officer felt realistic and romantic at the same time. Shute's real war-time experience could be seen throughout the book and his gift for writing strong, capable female characters has never been better. I'd definitely recommend this one.
Alison
Though I much prefer A Town Like Alice and read it over every few years, this pastoral view of WWII has its own draw. You would think it would be about farming during the war, but more the healing effect of nature on those who must risk life to serve us. The romantic aspect touches deeply a part of human nature many of us have experienced. The idea that we fall in love at different times and some relationships are ruined before they even have a chance to begin. This one has a chance to heal in a...more
Sue
Peter Marshall is a flight officer in the R.A.F. and Gervase Robertson is a signals officer in the W.A.A.F. during WWII. Both are stationed at Hartley Magna. Peter's work has him flying bomber missions over Germany. Gervase's job is to record the progress of the aircraft as they report back to the base during those missions. A romance between the two develops. For awhile, they can proceed with their work and not find the relationship interferring, but eventually it does, and decisions need to b...more
Bev Walkling
I've been rereading Nevil Shute books as my Mom has a collection of them in her room at the nursing home. It's rather like meeting old friends as I probably first read them in my early 20's. They tell of a different time and it is important when reading them to remember when they were written. Pastoral tells of a romance which develops at an airbase in WW2. It tells of the camraderie of men who go out on bombing sorties over Germany and how important teamwork and trust is if they wish to return...more
Scilla
Yet another great book by Shute. I don't know why I never read his books before. Peter Marshall is a bomber pilot at the Hartley aerodrome in Oxfordshire and falls in love with Gervase Robertson, a WAAF signal officer at the base. She isn't anxious to settle down right away. Peter and his crew have been together quite awhile and work well together. They also all like to fish. After Gervase tells Peter she isn't ready to marry him, and perhaps they shouldn't see each other, Peter becomes short wi...more
Angela Davies
I've read this book a couple of times in the past and I've enjoyed it just as much thus tine round. Neville Shute tells a good story - ignore some of seemingly middle class way of speaking this is a book of it's time written in 1944. It's a simple story of very young men who just got on with what the war threw at them.
Maura
I almost always like Nevil Shute's books. I first read "A Town Like Alice" after the PBS series had been made, and that got me reading "On the Beach", and then anything else by him that I could find. This one is a very short novel, set in wartime Great Britain, about the romance between an RAF pilot and a WAAF working at the same airfield. It's just a quick little snapshot of wartime life and love. The only drawback is some of the dialogue is particular to the time and place, and so it's unfamil...more
Elinor
This author was a brilliant story-teller who, in his own quiet fashion, brings to life all the drama and passion of a nation at war. His characters are simply drawn but one feels instinctively that one knows them, and understands their pain. This story of a young pilot in love with one of the girls at his air base couldn't be more commonplace, yet at the same time is a hang-onto-the-edge-of-your-seat thriller. I'm filing it in my Women in Wartime bookshelf because the female character is equally...more
Jim Puskas
This book is about as straightforward as any that Shute wrote, no sudden time-shifts or paranormal twists (e.g. In the Wet, An Old Captivity etc.) In that regard, this one is similar to The Chequerboard or Ruined City. It's very old-fashioned as are all of Shute's books and quite romantic in Shute's quaint way, but not as engaging as Requiem for a Wren. An easy, inconsequential read, recommended only if you like Shute's style.
Erica
I loved the story; the characters were very real, though the ending was a bit of a let down to me.
It is 'marketed' as a love story, though to me it there was more to the story than that. There were excellent descriptions of missions over occupied Europe, which would probably bore those interested in a love story. A good insight into life on a base during WWII
Amy Heap
Though it has been many years since I read A Town Like Alice, I think I enjoyed it much more than Pastoral. This is a very quiet, old fashioned story of two young people at a bomber station in WWII. Perhaps a bit blokey, with lots of detail about the planes and fishing. A sweet story, published in 1944 and seemingly very much of that time.
Reading with Cats
Nov 10, 2013 Reading with Cats rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Reading with Cats by: Zia
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Cinda
Aug 10, 2009 Cinda rated it 4 of 5 stars Recommends it for: those who enjoy planes
Recommended to Cinda by: Laurel Kash
Shelves: novel, romance
Set in England during WWII, the main characters are a bomber pilot and a young woman in the WAAF on his station. I enjoyed reading about war-time England, and these two young people discovering each other and what is important in life. Mr. Shute shares a lot about planes, pilots, and bomber missions.
Jenne
Well, as usual the gender politics are a little disturbing ("she began to understand the responsibility of being an attractive woman"--really??) but also as usual I couldn't put it down and found myself missing it once I finished. Pretty much your standard Nevil Shute experience.
Curtiss
Sentimental and inspiring story of the bonds between the crewmembers of an RAF bomber and the strain on their relationship when the pilot falls for a WAF. Nice description of night bombing operations while flying the twin-engine Vickers Wellington "Wimpy" bomber.
Sarah
I love Nevil Shute. His books are so well written and in such detail it's impossible not be with the characters throughout this book. A Town Like Alice is probably the best written, but his is a close second.
Rachel
The style of this story was a little different then his others, with the romance/relationship being front and center. Still, the writing was good and I did eventually get sucked in.
Claire Haeg
A very early novel (novella, really) which shows some of Shute's developing interest in how war affects young (fighting) men and women. Better than bad ... not great.
Sharyn
The storyline is the ages old tale of love written in a beautiful setting contrasting with WWII bombing missions over Germany. Reading it was a wonderful escape.
Lindsay
Very much a book of the era with brave, stiff upper lip English characters, who are still very likeable. A little predictable in parts but an enjoyable read.
Penny
A story of love in England during WWII. It depicts life on an R. A. F. base and there are two unbelievable descriptions of raids over Germany.
Lili
Enjoyed this, a love story set in WW11, I like all of Shute's books although nowadays they seem a little dated in the language of the day.
Bea Alden
A touching love story of a wartime romance between a young English bomber pilot and an officer in the WAAF (Women's Auxiliary Air Force).
Liska Crofts
A tad upsetting really, generally quite a fan of Nevil Shute but this just started... and continued... and nothing changed or happened.
Ken
An interesting peek into the psychology of RAF bomber groups in WWII with a bit of fishing, romance and some good flying scenes.
Josephspransy
Quaint love story with the mannerism and a proper courtship during WWII Battle of Britain.
Kate
Romantic and enjoyed it, quite easy to read and I enjoyed the descriptions of WW2
Jaime
Dec 03, 2013 Jaime rated it 4 of 5 stars Recommends it for: nostalgians
Shelves: historical, romance, war
A simple, short, and utterly lovely story told with Shute's characteristic quaint charm.
Tania
Oops left current book at work so inam choosing this one. It is book 29 for 2012
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Nevil Shute Norway was a popular British novelist and a successful aeronautical engineer. He used Nevil Shute as his pen name, and his full name in his engineering career, in order to protect his engineering career from any potential negative publicity in connection with his novels. He lived in Australia for the ten years before his death.
More about Nevil Shute...
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