Home > NewsRelease > All Is Fair Reviewed By Norm Goldman of Bookpleasures.com
All Is Fair Reviewed By Norm Goldman of Bookpleasures.com
Norm Goldman --  BookPleasures.com Norm Goldman -- BookPleasures.com
Montreal, QC
Thursday, December 8, 2022


Author: Michael Kenneth Smith

Publisher: Independently published

ISBN: 979-8353656456

Unless you are a history maven, you probably are unfamiliar that thousands of Polish airmen served in the Royal Air Force (RAF) in England as crew members of fighters and bombers. They were the most significant foreign force within British aviation. One air unit was the 303 Squadron, which included famous aces such as Josef František, Witold Urbanowicz, and Jan Zumbach.


Michael Kenneth Smith's All is Fair tells the fictionalized story of an ace Polish airman, Jan Orlinski, who began training as a fighter pilot in 1938 in Poland at eighteen. He attends the prestigious Air Force Academy of Poland in Deblin, where he becomes an outstanding, fearless pilot. Unfortunately, Poland is invaded by the Germans in 1939, and the Luftwaffe bombers attacked the Deblin airfield. Jan joins the battle but is shot down and winds up on a farm suffering from several cracked ribs.

Jan plans to proceed to France through Romania, where he believes the French modern fighter planes might be adequate to deal with the German Messerschmitt and continue the struggle against the Germans.

Jan finds his way with two other fighter pilots, Syd and Withhold, to Romania, where they are not welcomed and almost end up in prison. They receive orders from the Polish consul in Bucharest to board a ship and sail to Beirut, where they would meet another boat to Marseille. France was eager to recruit competent airmen, as many of theirs were killed in action.

However, the French generally rejected the combat experience of the three Polish airmen and they were not permitted to fly the more sophisticated French aircraft.

After the Germans bombarded France, Polish airmen were instructed by their superiors to leave France and head for England. They were warned that an attack on the British mainland was inevitable and that Britain badly needed them.

Jan lands in Liverpool, England on the Arandora Star without his two friends, with whom he will later reconnect. For the first two weeks, Jan never sees the inside of an airplane. He attends classes to learn British fighter tactics and eventually is assigned to fly a single-seat fighter aircraft known as The Hurricane. He becomes part of the 303 Polish fighter squadron.

One evening, after his inaugural flight in a Hurricane, Jan meets in a dance hall a pretty woman, Sophie Gordon, and he is instantly smitten. The two have something in common when Jan tells Sophie he is a pianist.

The couple commence a passionate love affair, but little does Jan realize who Sophie is and what role she will play in his life.

Once again, Jan experiences a near-life and death encounter. While flying for the British, he is shot down in the North Sea, wrecking his Hurricane, and lands near a German rescue buoy. He is transferred to Dulag Luft, a German prisoner of war camp. He escapes the camp and while trying to cross the Pyrenees is captured and shipped to Spain's infamous concentration camp, Mirando de Ebro, where he spends four hundred and twenty-one days in captivity.

During all of his escapades Jan loses his best friend, he becomes skeptical about Sophie's faithfulness, and to top it off, he gets into an unfortunate argument with another Polish airman, who suffers a head injury and dies. Before their entanglement, the Polish airman had made some denigrating remarks about Sophie.

Smith's realism stands out in the story, making its historical setting immediate and vivid. He seamlessly integrates known facts with fiction regarding actual events of the Polish airmen who heroically fought on behalf of England in World War ll. The narrative is intricately sketched and effectively constructed. Finally, Smith keeps you speculating who is the real Sophie Gordon with a concluding twist that you may or may not see coming.

Follow Here To Read Norm's Interview With Michael Kenneth Smith



 Norm Goldman of Bookpleasures.com

News Media Interview Contact
Name: Norm Goldman
Title: Book Reviewer
Group: bookpleasures.com
Dateline: Montreal, QC Canada
Direct Phone: 514-486-8018
Jump To Norm Goldman --  BookPleasures.com Jump To Norm Goldman -- BookPleasures.com
Contact Click to Contact