The Long Flight Home

The Long Flight Home

Inspired by fascinating, true, yet little-known events during World War II, The Long Flight Home is a testament to the power of courage in our darkest hours—a moving, masterfully written story of love and sacrifice.

It is September 1940—a year into the war—and as German bombs fall on Britain, fears grow of an impending invasion. Enemy fighter planes blacken the sky around the Epping Forest home of Susan Shepherd and her grandfather, Bertie. After losing her parents to influenza as a child, Susan found comfort in raising homing pigeons with Bertie. All her birds are extraordinary to Susan—loyal, intelligent, beautiful—but none more so than Duchess. Hatched from an egg that Susan incubated in a bowl under her grandfather’s desk lamp, Duchess shares a special bond with Susan and an unusual curiosity about the human world.

Thousands of miles away in Buxton, Maine, a young crop-duster pilot named Ollie Evans has decided to travel to Britain to join the Royal Air Force. His quest brings him to Epping and to the National Pigeon Service, where Susan is involved in a new, covert assignment. Codenamed Source Columba, the mission aims to air-drop hundreds of homing pigeons in German-occupied France. Many will not survive. Those that do make the journey home to England can convey crucial information on German troop movements—and help reclaim the skies from the Luftwaffe.

The friendship between Ollie and Susan deepens as the mission date draws near. When Ollie’s plane is downed behind enemy lines, both know how remote the chances of reunion must be. Yet Duchess’s devotion and her singular sense of duty will become an unexpected lifeline, relaying messages between Susan and Ollie as war rages on—and proving, at last, that hope is never truly lost.

Title:The Long Flight Home
Edition Language:English
ISBN:9781496721679
Format Type:

    The Long Flight Home Reviews

  • John

    The Long Flight Home was an intriguing read. I was not sure what to expect from the novel. Did it focus on the war effort or romance? Alan Hlad was successful in blending both. I was concerned at firs...

  • Darlene

    I received an Advance Reader copy of this novel, 'The Long Flight Home' by Alan Hlad, which will be published on June 25, 2019. Many thanks to Kensington Publishing for my copy. Although my opinion ha...

  • Connie G

    Although I've read many books about World War II, I had never heard of Source Columba. This was the code name for the program to air-drop thousands of homing pigeons in France during the German occupa...

  • Paige

    You don't have to know a lot about pigeons or aviation to follow the story. But on the same token, you will not learn much. Most of it centers more around the relationship between one specific pigeon ...

  • Karren  Sandercock

    Thanks so much to NetGalley, Kensington Books and Alan Hlad for giving me the chance to read his book: The Long Flight Home.Susan Shepherd lives with her grandfather Bertie near Epping Forest in Engla...

  • Anna

    Susan Shepherd and her grandfather Bertie raise homing pigeons on their small farm in Epping, England. Susan loves and nutures her pigeons, especially Duchess with whom she shares a special bond.The G...

  • Louise Wilson

    Its September 1940. War has been going on for a year. Susan raises pigeons. Ollie is a pilot. Susan lives with her grandfather, Bertie on a pigeon farm. They supply the war effort with pigeons, hoping...

  • Deanne Patterson

    I must be a sucker for sad books. Historical fiction is my favorite genre to read and it mirrors true historical events that have happened.There are a lot of tragic events that have happened in past h...

  • Chelsey (a_novel_idea11)

    “The British government’s secret mission is pigeons?”“Source Columba,” Bertie said. “These pigeons are going to help us win the war.”This is a must read for historical fiction lovers! Hl...

  • Annette

    Epping, England, Sept. 1940: Susan Shepherd postpones her zoology study at the University of London in lieu of a more important endeavor – raising war pigeons.Buxton, Maine, Sept. 1940: Ollie Evans ...