The novel, written in the first person, adopts the voice and eyes of Tom Cutter, an aircraft pilot, engineer, and entrepreneur.
The novel starts with Cutter's boyhood—he gets a job with the Alan Cobham "National Aviation Day" flying circus, of barnstorming aircraft which take customers up for short joyrides, with other entertainment provided. Cutter meets Shaklin, a boy a little older than himself, half Chinese and half Russian but a British subject, and who even then has a deep interest in religion, taking days off to visit houses of worship. When the air circus folds, the two drift apart. Cutter apprentices in aviation engineering, and also learns to fly. He marries a co-worker named Beryl, and soon afterwards is posted overseas as a civilian to do military-related aviation work during World War II.
Copyright: Public Domain in Canada