“I just finished a great novel by Helena P. Schrader. She is from Blue Hill and has written several enthralling novels about the gallant men of the air war in Britain during World War II. I found her latest, ‘Moral Fibre,’ another exciting, excellent and poignant read! I could not put it down.

“I was drawn quickly into the life of bomber pilot ‘Kit’ Moran and his personal history of being deemed LMF, lacking in moral fibre, for refusing to fly a mission. After being examined by a psychiatrist, in terrific back-and-forth dialogue, he is released back to flying.

“The title of the book is very apt as there are three aspects of moral fibre in the novel. First is the moral fibre of steeling oneself to do what has to be done, i.e. fly dangerous missions bombing Germany. The second is said by Rev. Reddings in his sermon at a wedding in the novel. He asks if being a survivor of the war is God having “given us a second chance to demonstrate our moral fibre?…..an obligation to counter lies, prejudice, hatred and arrogance with truth, tolerance, justice and righteousness?” The third refers to the moral fibre of Kit’s girlfriend Georgina, who loves, cares for and supports him after he is injured in the war.

“The missions over Germany are thrillingly described. Each man’s job is shown in detail during the flights over and back. How the Lancaster bomber flew, its strength and weakness, are all shown via dialogue among the crew and in superb, exciting action.

“Racism is shown through the thoughts and reactions of Kit and Kit’s mother, who is of mixed race; her mother is from the African Zulu people. Also the risk of loving someone very deeply, though they could be shot down at any moment, is poignantly depicted through Kit’s and Georgina’s evolving thoughts and feelings toward each other.

“There are lots of deep thoughts about war, romance during wartime, and class and racial prejudice. I had to put down the book many times to think about the many excellent philosophical questions Schrader posed. This is one I will definitely re-read.” — SUSAN MARTIN, Cumberland

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