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The Burning Blue

4.09  ·  Rating details ·  91 Ratings  ·  14 Reviews
Joss Lambert has always been a loner, constrained by a secret from his past, until he finds friendship and solace firstly with Guy Liddell, a friend from school, and then with Guy's family, who welcome him into their farmhouse home. Joss increasingly comes to depend upon the Liddells and treats Alvesdon Farm as the one place where he feels not only appreciated but also tru ...more
Paperback, 448 pages
Published June 14th 2007 by Arrow (first published January 1st 2004)
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John Powell
Nov 24, 2015 rated it liked it
Book Review: The Burning Blue by James Holland
Sometimes, reading a novel becomes like mountaineering, one presses on for no other reason but that it is there. Echoing in the mind are the words of John Humphries, host of the popular BBC quiz-show, Mastermind, ‘I’ve started so I’ll finish.’ So one stumbles on, trying to ignore the anachronisms and doubtful facts, to experience a gradually increasing level of interest and a happy ending, which though anticipated, comes from an unexpected direction
Dora Okeyo
May 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
James Holland description of life in the late 1930s and accounts of air battle is deeply moving.

Indulge me for a while as I tell you about the lead character, Joss Lambert. Being a loner- with a mother who loves her social life more than spending time with her son, he finds himself among the Liddells courtesy of his best friend Guy. He is introduced to Stella- Guy's twin and has this huge crush on her. But, that's not it- the story is set at the onset of the Second World War with the Germans up
Thom Swennes
Aug 13, 2014 rated it really liked it
“It was amazing how life could be changed by just a handful of carefully chosen words.” This is a quote from The Burning Blue by James Holland that serves as a suitable partial description of this story. This tale skips back and forth in time. The time ranges from 1936 to 1942. This six-year window observes and records the transformation of a nation and its peoples as it moves from a short lived peace to another nightmare war. In 1936 England was still reeling from the Great War and busy trying ...more
Jun 30, 2013 rated it it was ok
This book was slow, slow, slow. Barely anything happened for a long, long time, which didn't make for an entertaining read.

The subject matter is right up my street, so I was hoping to love this book, but I really didn't. The main character, Joss, was hard to like and his love affair with his best friend's sister is completely insipid. The supporting characters like Tommy were more interesting than the main characters of Joss and Stella. The dialogue read as if it had come straight from a 1940s
Ben Kane
Sep 09, 2011 rated it it was amazing
The subject matters of this book - WW2, the Battle of Britain, a love story - all appeal to me, so it was natural for me to gravitate to buying it. Of course that didn't mean I would enjoy it. To say that I enjoyed the book, however, is an understatement. I really loved it. From the first pages, which begin in the deserts of North Africa, I was drawn into the world of Joss Lambert, the tortured hero, and his friends.

Clearly, Holland has a deep knowledge of life in the 1930s and 40s, both civil
Having grown up reading real factual accounts of the battle of Britain written by ex-fighter pilots I found this difficult to accept to begin with. However the descriptions of the flying and dog fights have been based on logs and diaries which lends an air of authenticity, although without the immediacy of personal experience.

The description of the developing love affair with Stella is innocuous and there is no real sense of passion as befits an English gentleman, which of course Joss Lambert is
Richard Jacoby
Feb 17, 2011 rated it really liked it
Although the book was slow, I found myself getting swept up in it. Interesting characters do what they do during the Battle of Britain aerial war. I almost had to drop this one to 3 stars over the abrupt ending. After spending so much time slowly revealing plot details, I did not understand Holland's desire to end things so quickly.
Franco Forleo
Jan 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
I am so pleased to have persevered after what was a slow start. Truly a great read filled with facts for those interested in the Battle of Britain and the lives lead by the young men who defended and turned the tides of war.
Frank Budden
May 31, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic account of late 1930's Britain at war. The amount of times I've read this goes into double figures...
Oct 27, 2008 rated it liked it
Good read but slow.
Nov 05, 2011 rated it really liked it
An engaging, though romanticized, story of the RAF during World War II. Interesting details about the Battle of Britain, with vivid accounts of dogfights.
Jun 25, 2014 rated it really liked it
Good read - well researched and solid historical fiction.
Hilary Marson
Jan 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Wonderful book - highly recommend .
Jul 28, 2011 added it
Shelves: to-play-the-fox
An excellent addition to this genre.
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James Holland was born in Salisbury, Wiltshire, and studied history at Durham University. He has worked for several London publishing houses and has also written for a number of national newspapers and magazines. Married with a son, he lives near Salisbury.

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