Publisher: ECW Press
Release date: 11 October 2022
Back cover blurb: On the eve of the Second World War outside a village in England, four people are connected by an airplane crash that changes their lives forever. In the tumultuous year before war breaks out, a plane crashes on a country lane and four people are brought together in the aftermath. Miriam is recovering from another miscarriage and learns to fly as an escape from the disappointments in her life. Audrey is a middle-aged, upper-class activist who has shunned her society, travels the UK lecturing on reproductive rights, lives in a Reading caravan, and whose daily ritual includes a swim in a nearby river. It is Audrey’s nephew, Frank, who teaches Miriam to fly. A club foot and his suppressed homosexuality have made him reluctant to engage with anyone other than his aunt. But as he succumbs to his attraction to the crashed pilot and convinces Miriam to co-pilot an air race from London to Manchester, and as Audrey confronts her past, ghosts must be laid to rest. With the war looming, As Little as Nothing beautifully explores resilience, the strength of new bonds, and the various ways we reinvent ourselves.
As Little As Nothing is the first novel of Pamela Mulloy's that I've had the pleasure of reading, and it is beautifully written.
It opens with a plane crash in the English countryside, and brings together four strangers whos lives will intertwine with each other for the rest of the novel.
Miriam, Frank, Audrey and Peter.
Miriam is recovering from a personal heartache, another miscarriage and doesn't realise she's looking for an escape until Frank, who helps her rescue the Pilot of the crashed plane offers her flying lessons as a thank you for her assistance.
Peter is a Canadian Pilot who has family in England who he is visiting when his plane come crashing down. Luckily he is not badly injured, but his love of flying sets him on a path that will change the his fate.
Frank is unable to fight in the rumoured war that is just around the corner due to a club foot, but he is determined to fly in some capacity, and takes it upon himself to teach Miriam how to, so that they can take part in a race. He enlists Peters help so that he can remain close to the Canadian.
Audrey, Frank's Aunt, is the final piece of the friendship puzzle. She is an activist for Women's reproductive rights, which given Miriam's troubled history is a shock to her at first. But as she learns more about the subject, she realises that there is more to Miriam than meets the eye, and beings to help her friend in her crusade.
This novel is very cleverly written, in that it feels that it is subtly building towards something all the way through - and of course it is, it is building towards war.
If you're looking for a novel set during WWII, this is not it. This is a novel that explores the complexities of politics and people's behaviours leading up to the event.
As Little As Nothing is available now via Amazon online and all good book shops.
Thank You to the publishers who approved my request via netgalley in exchange for an honest review.