Yöst has finally achieved his dream of becoming a fully-fledged cob, able to take to the skies, master of all he surveys. But the price is high and about to get higher. War is waiting on the horizon … and with it the arrival of Kapitein Death.
Once again Yöst will be faced with a choice. To fly with the carinatae, or stay and fight the enemy to keep those he loves safe.
My Review of An Ocean of White Wings by Barbara Spencer
This is a story that touches the heart and stays in the mind long after finishing reading it. Although I finished it two days ago, I find myself still thinking about it and feeling again the emotions aroused by the author’s skill in writing. I found myself fully immersed in the lives of the characters, especially Yost. I understood well Tante Maria’s fears for him and her desire to protect him, even though she knew she couldn’t. Although a caritanae, Yost doesn’t ‘fit’. Unlike the other members of the flock, he loves his family and wants to do all he can to protect them, especially when he discovers that the German officer, ‘Kapitein Death’, is none other than the priest who led the slaughter of the caritanae left on the island when only Yost, Zande and Tata escaped.
I became so involved in the lives of Yost, Zande and Tata in the last book that it was like being back with old friends in this one. I fully admit that I don’t really like stories set during the war, because I know very well the horrors that happened then and have heard much about what people suffered at the hands of the Gestapo in German-occupied countries. However, I found this story riveting, the writing such that I could imagine everything vividly without getting bored with long passages of description. The little family, having fled the south, were now living on the edge of a lake in Holland with the city of Amsterdam on the other side of it and a farming community in another area at the edge of the lake, in a house designed by Yost and largely hidden from prying eyes. The flock lived in secret on an island in the middle of the lake, owned by Robert, their leader. Here they had lived for about five years, until the Germans arrived with their prisoners, determined to build a bridge across to the island.
I don’t want to give any spoilers, but I found that, although I don’t really like war stories, I was unable to put it down easily. I had to rush on, fearing for the family, but mostly for Yost’s safety and hoping he will achieve what he wants to achieve.
The story is about loyalty, love, that of knowing he doesn’t really ‘belong’ anywhere totally, not being entirely comfortable with who he is, longing to be with someone he can’t be with and for all that, facing danger to help those who need it and to save the person he loves above all.
Ms Spencer, I think this book is a triumph of wonderful writing. Now, I’m waiting for the next one…