Fair Stood the Wind for France – Book Review
The novel Fair Stood the Wind for France by H.E. Bates is a Romance – Fiction set at the height of World War Two. The story follows the main character, John Franklin, through his journey when he brings his aircraft down into occupied France. The novel deals with love, war, isolation and conflict; although there is no specific theme to the book.
I felt that the book's purpose was very clear. Bates wanted to show that within all the horrors of war, two people were able to find love and happiness. Franklin had crashed his plane and his arm was severely damaged. Yet while looking for help he found a wonderful family, and if that had not happened then Franklin would never have been able to meet Francoise. Bates makes it clear that there is always some good in all evil, even war.
The book's title is taken from the poem by Michael Drayton (1563-1631) which is at the beginning of the book. The short verse of the poem is relative to a naval experience (from the referral to sails advancing), which partially ties in with the main setting of the book. Apart from "France", the actual title never said or made reference to. The title was taken from the poem, which most likely in its complete form was more to do with war. Although from just the book, the actual title does not have a significant amount of relation and ties in with the story poorly.
The story takes place in the Second World War when Franklin and his co-pilots take the plane down. Franklin's arm is hurt very badly but luckily they go down in an area of France that is occupied and they can get help promptly. After walking for a significant amount of time they find a farm where a very pleasant family takes them. The family, which consists of Francoise (the girl), her father, her brother Pierre and her Grandmother see to it that Franklin's arm is taken care of. They also