First Time Solo

First Time Solo
June 23rd 2014 by Freight Books
Goodreads Rating:

It's 1943 and Jack Devine, a farmer's son, is finally called up to the RAF. Jack dreams of becoming a pilot, breaking hearts, and returning home a hero. The realities of training are very different, with boredom, bullying, and casual violence the norm. Drawn together by a love of jazz music, Jack makes friends with Terry, a worldly Welshman dabbling in the black market; Joe, an active Communist, as well as Yorkshire poet Doug. Jack, Joe and Terry form a jazz band to surprising acclaim and for a while an alternative future to that preordained for each seems possible. But the initial camaraderie soon gives way to simmering resentment as age-old tensions resurface, ultimately resulting in tragedy. 'I was captivated by Jack's coming of age amid the personal and political dramas of the Second World War. Finely-crafted, hugely compassionate and often very funny, First Time Solo is an assured debut flight by an author to watch.' Zoe Strachan, author of Negative Space, Spin Cycle and Ever Fallen in Love. 'This is an assured debut in which Maloney uses a confident and authentic grasp of era and setting to create a compelling set of characters facing issues of friendship, loyalty, ambition and revenge. An engrossing read.' J David Simons, author of The Credit Draper, The Liberation of Celia Khan and An Exquisite Sense of What is Beautiful. Shortlisted for The Guardian Not The Booker prize 2014