Skybound

Skybound - Aleksandr Voinov What can I say about this book? My thoughts are all over the place. Hello scatterbrained Sara. This was my first solo flight with Aleksandr Voinov and I am again stunned by the beauty of a story. The writing in this…sigh…it was comparable to poetry. I read the first paragraph and next line walking up my stairs as I was heading to bed, aware of the summary and prepared for the battlement of the story. As I settled in quickly to the cadence of the words I was taken aback. I backtracked up to word one and started again. Read the entire first page and then read it five more times before I moved on. I love to be sucked into a book but this? This engulfed me completely in its beautiful prose. Do I sound too swoony? Oh well, deal with it. This book, this story deserves it. I’m normally counting the empty spaces. The absences. But I never count them in his Staffel. Nobody else exists to me when he lands. Everything stops existing when he takes off, as if he takes it all with him when he goes up there, to places I’ll never see again. Felix is a mechanic, one of the “black men,” who work on the fighter planes during the war, who attends to the fighter pilots as well. One fighter pilot has caught his eye, Baldur Vogt, and Felix is secretly infatuated with the man. After a brief chat one night, a shared cigarette and an accident in which Baldur gets injured, the two men enjoy some time off the airstrip together upon Baldur’s request. What starts out as seemingly as chance to get away from it all and a simple friendship soon turns into more. The more was told slowly, slowly and beautiful careful not to rush anything. I am one who loves a good love scene, a good hot and dirty scene but there are times when you get more with less. The simple gestures and words these men share had me blushing darker than a sting of dirty words tossed onto the page. I don’t want to admit to the childish fantasies I have about him. For me, he can walk on water, dance in the clouds. I know he can’t, really, but what he can and can’t do pales into nothing when I look at him. Now of course I loved the story of Felix and Baldur coming together but what I fell for in this book beyond the poetry-esque prose…the detail. There is nothing better to me than a story that can entertain and teach at the same time. (I love it in music as well and compared this book to many early songs from The Police. As a young girl I was constantly looking up words Sting used to better understand the song.) I was intrigued by the different planes that were being flown, the German words used throughout the book and the general feel of what was happening. Whether it was intended or not, I learned a bit about Germany in 1945 from this story. It’s why it took me a few days to read it. I would read, and then visit Google and YouTube. Read and visit sites again. Again, the detail, it was amazing; the sky full of birds made of metal taking off and landing, the sounds as they performed their essential duties, I could hear it. I could feel the run of the cloth against Felix’s hands as he tries to rid them of the oil. I could…okay, I will stop there. If you can’t tell by my ramblings that I loved this story, well you never will. It was fantastic though it was short and that ending left me wanting MORE! I will just imagine what happens after that last word and trust me I have a short story in my head of how it all plays out. I needed to do it or my OCD would drive me crazy. Skybound is a story of two men finding each other amongst the chaos and destruction in a time that feels like the end of the world. This is a book that cannot be missed. That is all that needs to be said. If the world ends tomorrow, how will I go? Without ever having risked anything, or having done the one thing I can’t stop thinking about?