Navigation Log

Navigation Log

A Novel

Book - 2002
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"Milly dipped a pen in the bottle of India ink and wrote Tom on the label. She looked at the babies. They moved their arms and legs and made small sounds. Quickly she reached out and tied the label around one of their ankles. The child kicked his legs jerkily and the label fluttered. 'You're Tom,' Milly said. She looked at the other child. 'And you're William.'" A sweeping saga of brothers shaped by the chaos and danger of two world wars, The Navigation Log follows Tom and William, identical twins born as the church bells ring out the armistice of 1918. Largely ignored by their preoccupied mother and adulterous father, the brothers share a close bond through their rambunctious boyhood, even as Tom becomes obsessed with airplanes while William, a burgeoning poet, is drawn to his own internal flights of fancy. By the time the Second World War casts its shadow across England, the boys have largely gone their separate ways. Tom is a Spitfire pilot, entangled in the romantic pursuit of a tempestuous female flier, and William is a teacher at an unorthodox elementary school. The war intensifies, and so do the brothers' differences: As Tom patrols the skies, dogfighting high above the coast of Kent, William accompanies his headmaster, students, and new wife in a lunatic pilgrimage across the bomb-strewn countryside below. It is only when they separately approach the majestic Canterbury Cathedral that the twins' paths explosively converge one last, unforgettable time. Marking the debut of a masterly storyteller, The Navigation Log brilliantly conjures a vanished Britain with affection, humor, and lyricism that comes close to elegy. From the Hardcover edition.
Publisher: New York, NY : Random House : 2002
ISBN: 9780375508127
0375508120
Branch Call Number: FIC Corr
Characteristics: 292p

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Jul 30, 2010

The illustration on the front cover of this novel suggets it's going to be set in rural, small village, WW II Britain.
It's the story of twin boys, identgical, born to Felix and Constance Anderson on the Armistice of the First World War.
Corrick manages to cover the flavour of the inter-war years quite nicely. People talk of the oddest things: "Imagine being married to a man who never tickled you"; "dipped a pen into a bottle of India ink." "Five is the only age at which a boy is at all tolerable."
The boys' motedhr doted on their older sister and quite ignored the boys.
The book moves at a leisurly paceas the boys grow in their own calm, different ways.
Twin William aspires to be a poetand as such takes employment in the arid domain of a school.
Twin Tom wishes to become an engineer and soon finds himself in the RAF flying a Spitfire and downing Jerry Messerschmidts.
This is a novel of matrons, vicars, bristol cream, headmasters, convoys, grammaphones, church wardens, Sunbeams, "Home Counties" and fish and chips --- it will slow you down to the pace of its times: World War II England.
Not the book to read if you crave a hit of action, gore and suspense. This novel is genteel and thoughtful. Do enjoy it!

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