Read Pastoral by Nevil Shute Online


World War II pilot Peter Marshall leads the most successful bombing crew at his airbase, having survived an unusual number of extremely dangerous missions over Germany. However, when Peter falls hopelessly in love with an attractive WAAF officer—one who insists that wartime duties should take precedence over emotions—his concentration begins to suffer. Soon it looks as thoWorld War II pilot Peter Marshall leads the most successful bombing crew at his airbase, having survived an unusual number of extremely dangerous missions over Germany. However, when Peter falls hopelessly in love with an attractive WAAF officer—one who insists that wartime duties should take precedence over emotions—his concentration begins to suffer. Soon it looks as though his perfect run of successful missions may be at risk—along with the lives of Peter and his men—unless she can be persuaded to relent....

Title : Pastoral
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781842322772
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 285 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Pastoral Reviews

  • Rose Mary
    2019-02-09 16:08

    "Pastoral" was one of the many Nevil Shute novels I read when I was 12. I later ran into it again in 1973 in a British bookstore in Bangkok . At the time (the tail-end of the Viet Nam War) I was a WAF captain stationed at an air base on the central plateau of Thailand.I wondered if Gervase Robertson, the heroine I had read so many years before, had led me there--into the Air Force in a time of war.

  • Michael
    2019-01-25 14:12

    I'm not sure why Nevil Shute isn't a better known writer, as this is the second book of his that ended up being absolutely wonderful. This story of a British bomber pilot during World War II who falls in love with a female officer felt realistic and romantic at the same time. Shute's real war-time experience could be seen throughout the book and his gift for writing strong, capable female characters has never been better. I'd definitely recommend this one.

  • Bev Walkling
    2019-02-06 19:25

    I've been rereading Nevil Shute books as my Mom has a collection of them in her room at the nursing home. It's rather like meeting old friends as I probably first read them in my early 20's. They tell of a different time and it is important when reading them to remember when they were written. Pastoral tells of a romance which develops at an airbase in WW2. It tells of the camraderie of men who go out on bombing sorties over Germany and how important teamwork and trust is if they wish to return alive. It tells of the joys to be found in nature which help to keep life in perspective for those who may lose their lives at any time.

  • Elisabeth
    2019-02-08 19:23

    I don't know what it is about Nevil Shute's writing that is so absorbing. It's the very essence of simplicity and understatement, filled with careful, seemingly mundane details of his characters' lives. Perhaps that's what makes it so lifelike. His characters are very human, very ordinary and yet interesting. The main plot of Pastoral also seems simple: a romance between a young R.A.F. bomber pilot and a girl from the W.A.A.F. signalers on his post. Their initial attraction and friendship and the uncertain progress of their courtship is so honest and natural, and ultimately touching and romantic. But their relationship is also intricately intertwined with the routine and protocol of everyday life on an R.A.F. post, and the mental and emotional strain on the pilots flying bombing raids over Germany (raids depicted in a couple of riveting scenes in the book) and on the personnel who wait for them to return, and chalk up each night's casualties. I found it very hard to put down once I'd started, and finished it in a couple of sittings.My only quibble would be some mild language throughout, some of a distinctly British variety—that's the funny thing about being an American reading a British novel; sometimes you're never quite sure if someone is swearing or not.

  • Alison
    2019-01-24 12:01

    Though I much prefer A Town Like Alice and read it over every few years, this pastoral view of WWII has its own draw. You would think it would be about farming during the war, but more the healing effect of nature on those who must risk life to serve us. The romantic aspect touches deeply a part of human nature many of us have experienced. The idea that we fall in love at different times and some relationships are ruined before they even have a chance to begin. This one has a chance to heal in a very hopeful way.

  • 5greenway
    2019-02-15 20:15

    I gather no one reads Nevil Shute any more, which at first seems odd, given how obsessed we are with the Second World War as our national foundation myth. Maybe it's because myths are basically lies and these books are at times uncomfortably true. Anyway, bombing Germany, fishing, and falling in love: what more would you want from a novel?

  • Bob
    2019-01-25 19:12

    I can't help myself, 5 Stars, Nevil Shute has never failed to deliver a great story. This one just makes you feel good.

  • SmartBitches
    2019-01-23 12:15

    Full review at Smart Bitches, Trashy BooksBack when my mom was growing up and general practitioner doctors were the norm, people used to refer to having a family doctor. We don’t have a family doctor, but we do have a family author (as in, an author the family loves, not an author to whom we are related). All the women on my mom’s half of the family, and there are a ton of us, are obsessed with the writings of Nevil Shute. I don’t know that many Americans that stockpile Nevil Shute books like we do, but all you have to do to get a McGowan woman excited is say, “So…tell me about A Town Like Alice” and we just fall all over ourselves with enthusiasm.One of Shute’s lesser-known books is Pastoral, a lovely romance between a British bomber pilot and a W.A.A.F. officer (Women’s Auxiliary Air Force). This is a book that is deceptively low on plot. The pilot (Peter) falls in love with the W.A.A.F. officer (Gervase) while stationed in Britain. She likes him, but she doesn’t believe that she is in love with him and she isn’t interested in a relationship that isn’t serious. However, she agrees to a trial courtship to see if her feelings of fondness might actually be something deeper.There’s no sex in the book, although Peter and Gervase joke about it and neck quite a bit and get caught by an air commodore while they are making out during a picnic. If there’s anything funnier than a badass pilot acting like a teenager who just got busted by his mom I don’t know what it is.There’s also not a lot of action – but when there is action, it’s absolutely terrifying. At one point Gervase is working the radio while Peter is on a mission and she has to excuse herself and have someone take over for a moment so that she can go outside and vomit. She’s neither pregnant nor sick – it’s just that tense. I felt queasy myself. Gervase, who is made of sterner stuff than I, just wipes off her mouth and gets back to work.Despite that scene, the book is for the most part what it says it is (a pastoral). It’s a peaceful breath of happiness and loveliness and optimism in the middle of a terrifying time in history. Like Shute’s books A Town Like Alice and The Pied Piper, it’s also a celebration of people who are both utterly ordinary and utterly extraordinary in their kindness and heroism during extraordinary times. This is a great comfort read about a couple who are comfortable friends as well as enthusiastic lovers. Just be prepared to read a lot of scenes about fishing.- Carrie S.

  • Ryan Middlebrook
    2019-01-26 18:20

    Do you ever just want a good story? I’m not talking about a murder mystery, whodunnit, spy doublecross. I’m talking about a story with good characters with real emotions that you like. A story where it hardly matters where it goes because you’re just happy to go with it. For me, Pastoral was that kind of story. Pastoral is a simple story of a Royal Air Force pilot that falls in love with a female officer on his base during the height of World War II. The situation of the time is tense (the main character flies many bombing sorties), but the relationship is not. The real battles are of the inner lives of the main characters – how can normal life work while the world is falling apart?Nevil Shute is quickly becoming a favorite author of mine. Trustee from the Toolroom was one of my top reads last year. I gave it to family members for Christmas. It was a perfectly happy book. This book is not quite up to the same level as that one, but nevertheless, I found it most enjoyable. I wonder if I’m getting a little soft, but I delight in books where there are no bad characters. For lesser writers that would mean no story, but Shute writes great tales where you like everyone. I will add that while this book is in essence a straight romance, Shute really is a master of action writing. The bombing operations read like you’re in the plane with the crew. The intensity of the physical drama pays off in the intensity of the emotional drama. This book should be a must read for fans of World War II aircraft. My great uncle died while I was reading this novel. He was my last living blood relative to serve in the war. Losing him relegates that time truly to history for me. I’ll confess it added a poignancy to the story, a bittersweetness that made me wish it wouldn’t end. The title Pastoral is an interesting one for this book. I never see that word when associated with art or music that I don’t think of an idyllic rural scene but one always tinged with a little sadness. Maybe rural life has too much reality to be blindly perceived as fully happy. I don’t know, but just the title made me enjoy the book more. 7.5 stars out of 10Red Eagle's Legacy

  • Sue
    2019-02-10 12:08

    Peter Marshall is a flight officer in the R.A.F. and Gervase Robertson is a signals officer in the W.A.A.F. during WWII. Both are stationed at Hartley Magna. Peter's work has him flying bomber missions over Germany. Gervase's job is to record the progress of the aircraft as they report back to the base during those missions. A romance between the two develops. For awhile, they can proceed with their work and not find the relationship interferring, but eventually it does, and decisions need to be made about how to proceed, as there is military protocol that needs to be followed. Thoroughly enjoyed this. Felt as if I was right there in the setting and the time period. The action of the flights is fast paced and pulls you right in. I found myself pulling for crew on some of the more harrowing missions.

  • Cathy
    2019-02-19 15:15

    I think I would have rated this three stars but my infatuation with Frank Muller narrations bumped it up to a four. An interesting love story, certainly. Set in WWII England, a talented young bomber pilot falls in love with a WAAF officer. The young woman rebuffs him, insisting that wartime duties take precedence over his embarrassing obsession. Then he falls to pieces, endangering himself and his crew. Uncomfortably, the young woman feels compelled to give her suitor a second chance, which she regards as nothing less than her patriotic duty, but which feels like emotional blackmail. The sticky circumstances of their courtship taint the happy ending, in my opinion.

  • Adam
    2019-02-15 14:01

    This was a pleasant enough read, but it loses a star due to the outdated gender attitudes. Given that it was written 70 years ago this shouldn't come as a surprise, but nevertheless it's not a book I'd encourage my daughters to read, at least not until they are old enough to snort in scorn at some of the motivations.

  • Jenne
    2019-01-28 15:07

    Well, as usual the gender politics are a little disturbing ("she began to understand the responsibility of being an attractive woman"--really??) but also as usual I couldn't put it down and found myself missing it once I finished. Pretty much your standard Nevil Shute experience.

  • Jamie Barringer (Ravenmount)
    2019-01-31 17:06

    I was a bit annoyed at the overall plot- girl gets bullied into marrying a pilot during WW2- but I suppose back in the 40's and 50's the story might have been received a bit better. Otherwise, this was a good book, and reminded me a lot of the series Foyle's War. Nevil Shute is the author of A Town Like Alice, as well, and I really liked that one, so I grabbed Pastoral when it turned up on the community free books shelf. The copy I read was smoke damaged, as if it survived a housefire or spent a long time too close to a chimney. This fit with the book rather well, actually. I definitely recommend this book to anyone who enjoys romantic stories, WW2 historical fiction, books about flying and aircraft, or books by lesser-known classic authors.If you enjoyed A Town Like Alice, the TV series Foyle's War, or books by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, you might like this book.

  • Andrew McClarnon
    2019-02-04 20:27

    A real pleasure to read, and a reminder of just how young many of the RAF and WAAF members were during the war. This story lifts the veil of time to look back at a countryside airbase, and considers how the crews passed their time, and how delicate it was to build relationships whilst being aware of the operational responsibilities and dangers. There are some vivid sections in flight, and a very moving visit to an elderly widow to ask a favour. In many ways a long short story, but full of charm.

  • Allan van der Heiden
    2019-01-19 13:19

    Great aviation storyThis is an awesome WW2 aviation story. It took a while to get used to the authors run on style of writing but it actually fitted well with the story as a reader you can’t stop because you want to know what happens next. The writing style gets a bit jumbled and more regular breaks in chapters would make the reading easier but the story itself was amazing. Loved the book in the end.

  • Pat
    2019-02-05 18:59

    This book takes place in 1944; the protagonist is a young RAF pilot who falls in love with a WAAF signals operator at the bomber station. It gives insights into the midnight mission flights of the RAF, but the emphasis is on the love story.

  • Rachael
    2019-01-19 17:13

    Perfect little ww2 bomber pilot/waaf officer romance story.

  • Gale
    2019-02-06 15:16

    “It all Started with a Fish” Nevil Schute’s poignant love story set during the early years of WW1 will haunt readers long after the antic-climactic last paragraphs by an unknown 1st person narrator. It was an era of outstanding personal courage on the part of the pilots of the RAF—an era ofoutstanding devotion to Britain’s gallant war effort by the dedicated women in the WAAF. Despite the misleading title (hinting of a story set in an idyllic countryside, with sheep grazing peacefully) PASTORAL alternates scenes of courtship and malaise at an airbase called Hartley magna--with nail-biting depictions of aerial battles over Germany. It’s hard to believe that their blazing courtship all began over a big fish! Pilot Peter Marshall and the crew of R for Robert have flownmany bombing missions over various cities in Germany, usually managing to make it back more or less in one piece. But their down time loses much of its charm when the fishing (a hobby which serves to bond them) season ends. The only person who seems to take an interest in Peter’s big fish is an attractive WAAF officer Named Gervase Robertson. Captivated by her personal charms and frank, sweet personality the pilot is soon hopelessly enamored of her, but regulations at Hartley are very strict re fraternization, so he must be be creatively cunning to attempt any kind of discreet courtship. Their relationship progresses on the sly, but she is serious re her war work and has no plans to marry at this early age. When Peter reluctantly agrees to stop seeing her for a while he is unable to focus on his mission and is easily irritated by trifling faults of his loyal crew. One raid over Germany proves nearly disastrous because the captain is personally unable to concentrate. Gervase comes to realize that His moods affect Hers--and vice versa. But is marriage the only way out? Should she break it off entirely--maybe test things for a month? Or will fate intervene and snuff out his life before she finally makes up her mind? This compelling love story--related with psychological depth and tender insight--throbs with the rhythm of airplane engines as duty to country and loyalty to one’s crew struggle against intense personal emotions. One expects nothing less from the acclaimed author of ON THE BEACH. November 19, 2014

  • Kissmekate
    2019-02-13 15:27

    Peter Marshall ist im 2. Weltkrieg Bomberpilot und fliegt vom englischen Stützpunkt Hartley aus eine Mission nach der anderen über Deutschland. Er gehört inzwischen zu den dienstältesten und erfahrensten Piloten, kaum einer hat mehr Einsätze heil überstanden als er, und ihm eilt ein guter Ruf voraus. Sein ganzes Leben kreist um Hartley, und schließlich verliebt er sich Hals über Kopf in eine junge Funkerin, Gervase, die ebenfalls auf dem Stützpunkt lebt und arbeitet.Doch die Beziehung entwickelt sich nicht ganz so wie erwartet, und Peter muss auf die harte Tour feststellen, dass seine Konzentration darunter leidet, was Gefahr für ihn und seine ganze Besatzung bedeutet ...Der Roman von Nevil Shute entstand bereits 1944, fängt also den "O-Ton" der Kriegszeit authentisch ein. Das bedeutet jedoch leider auch, dass Begriffe, Abkürzungen und Anspielungen, die dem damaligen Publikum sicher geläufig waren, für heutige Leser eine Herausforderung darstellen, weil sie nicht erläutert werden.Der Einstieg ins Buch fällt dadurch schwer, zumal auch auf den ersten hundert Seiten nicht viel passiert außer Flugzeugwartung, Angelausflügen und einem Bombereinsatz, der emotionslos und unspektakulär abgehandelt wird. Business as usual eben (was aus heutiger Sicht sehr befremdlich wirkt). Immerhin dürfen zwischendurch auch mal ein paar Schmetterlinge flattern, aber auch die kommen nicht so recht auf Touren.Doch als Peter auf dem Heimflug aus Deutschland aufgrund einer verpatzten Kompasseinstellung plötzlich mit dem Allerschlimmsten rechnen muss, wird es dann doch noch interessant, ja sogar hochspannend. Man zittert mit der womöglich todgeweihten Crew mit und vielleicht noch mehr mit Gervase, die zu Hause am Funkgerät sitzt und eine Maschine nach der anderen zurückkehren sieht, bis nur noch die von Peter fehlt.In der ersten Hälfte ziemlich lahm, entwickelt sich dann aber zu einem packenden Fliegerdrama mit einem netten Romanzenanteil.

  • Emily M
    2019-01-22 13:04

    Lovely little book by Nevil Shute, who must surely be an underrated 20th century author. I will never forget reading "A Town like Alice" in high school.

  • Scilla
    2019-02-15 14:26

    Yet another great book by Shute. I don't know why I never read his books before. Peter Marshall is a bomber pilot at the Hartley aerodrome in Oxfordshire and falls in love with Gervase Robertson, a WAAF signal officer at the base. She isn't anxious to settle down right away. Peter and his crew have been together quite awhile and work well together. They also all like to fish. After Gervase tells Peter she isn't ready to marry him, and perhaps they shouldn't see each other, Peter becomes short with his crew, and not as attentive to his job. After he has an accident flying, Gervase realizes that she really does like him and says she will date him for a month and see if she would like to spend the rest of her life with him. She lines up a private fishing pond for the crew. There are great flying descriptions of the bomber runs, and Peter's heroic flying, as well as developing love.

  • Al
    2019-01-22 18:14

    Another of Mr. Shute's WW II novels. Published in 1944, this upbeat story features a budding romance between a young British bomber pilot and a WAAF section officer at an air base in England. The story moves slowly at first, but gathers momentum as the young woman initially rebuffs the pilot's advances, affecting his concentration on his flying. The latter stages of the novel come up more closely to Mr. Shute's usual narrative standards, particularly a moving set piece involving an elderly local woman who bonds with the flyers at the air base. Mr. Shute doesn't minimize the horrors of the war, and particularly the vulnerability of the bomber crews, but places them in the context of the day-to-day personal relationship developing between the two main characters. This book, in addition to being a testimonial to the RAF, must have been a tonic to a war-weary public.

  • Harrison Wein
    2019-01-28 20:12

    Pastoral tells the story of a wartime romance in a careful, understated manner that slowly draws you in. Using a simple, elegant writing style, Shute creates a detached tone that lets him depict very harrowing situations in a way that lets you relate. The bombing mission scenes are intense, and you get a very vivid sense of the daily rhythms and challenges of life on an air base. The thoughts about teamwork and leadership seem very modern, if the gender politics aren't. Remember, though, that it was written over 70 years ago and times were what they were. Overall, Pastoral doesn't approach the weightiness of Shute's masterpieces like A Town Like Alice or , but it's well worth reading.

  • Mike Harper
    2019-02-07 19:05

    There isn't much wrong with this novel. Written in 1943, it describes a love affair between a British bomber pilot and a WAAF. I would like to think that the characters are realistically portrayed, because they're good-hearted, proficient, ethical and innocent despite the superheated atmosphere of WWII. Perhaps the description of the lovers is a bit naive, but that doesn't take away from the narrative. The flying stories are highly realistic. That makes sense because Shute was an aircraft engineer of considerable note before he was a novelist. They are also intense: I found myself rooting for the pilot, hoping he would survive but unsure until the last few pages. Not all of Shute's heros survive ( witness On the Beach), and here, the last mission is a nail-biter.

  • Gerald
    2019-02-04 16:18

    Peter Marshall is a WWII bomber pilot. He and his crew have a superb record of success in a very large number of raids over Germany. After falling in love with WAAF Officer Gervase Robertson and proposing to her, she turns him down saying that her professional wartime responsibilities must take precedence over what she might feel for him. This rejection causes him concentration to slip with a resulting decrease in his efficiency as a pilot and friction with his crew.Peter makes an unusual offer to Gervase to hopefully settle matters between them as well as improve matters with his crew.This was another dandy Nevil Shute book. I recommend it to his fans.

  • Maura
    2019-02-05 17:25

    I almost always like Nevil Shute's books. I first read "A Town Like Alice" after the PBS series had been made, and that got me reading "On the Beach", and then anything else by him that I could find. This one is a very short novel, set in wartime Great Britain, about the romance between an RAF pilot and a WAAF working at the same airfield. It's just a quick little snapshot of wartime life and love. The only drawback is some of the dialogue is particular to the time and place, and so it's unfamiliar to the reader of today, especially an American, but most of the jargon can be figured out from the context. It's very much like watching an old British movie from that era.

  • Vikas Datta
    2019-01-28 17:18

    A superb wartime story - evoking unforgettably the life of bomber pilots and the romance engendered among a section who never knew which mission could be their last. A number of well-drawn characters - somehow my favourite is Peter Johnson - round up the narrative while some scenes are breath-taking - the protagonist's desperate attempt to safely land his well-pranged aircraft while singing "A Nightingale sang in Berkeley Square" is one that will be well remembered after you have read this book. And yes, the author's cameo appearance at the end is pretty nifty too...

  • Elizabeth
    2019-01-23 17:00

    Another of my string of Nevil Shute, World War II love stories. In this one, World War II pilot Peter Marshall leads the most successful bombing crew at his airbase, having survived an unusual number of extremely dangerous missions over Germany. But when he can't convince the WAAF officer of his dreams to marry him, his crew and missions are threatened by his distraction and disappointment. Again, the atmosphere is what grabs me. The characters are pretty stereotyped. My favorite of Shute's is THE PIED PIPER.

  • Elinor
    2019-01-19 12:08

    This author was a brilliant story-teller who, in his own quiet fashion, brings to life all the drama and passion of a nation at war. His characters are simply drawn but one feels instinctively that one knows them, and understands their pain. This story of a young pilot in love with one of the girls at his air base couldn't be more commonplace, yet at the same time is a hang-onto-the-edge-of-your-seat thriller. I'm filing it in my Women in Wartime bookshelf because the female character is equally as interesting, if not more, than the male.