Reviewer Lily Azerad-Goldman, B.F.A. Lily is an artist and a children's author. Follow Here to view Lily's art work. She is also the author and illustrator of the children's book Mrs.Nosy -A Composting Story For Children & Adults.
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Author: Howard M. Layton
ISBN 13: 978-0-9676008-5-7
Publishers: Three Spires Publishers
Love and Sand is the exciting memoir of a former flyer for the RAF. Howard M. Layton intermingles the stories of his love affairs with his hair raising exploits as an officer of the RAF in south-Africa and El Alamein where the Eighth army defeated Rommel.
He offers a dynamic personal account of his understanding of the RAF air support of the Eighth Army and his entwined romantic sagas. His story offers the only published account of air support for the Allied armies at El-Alamein, written by an actual participant.
While he recounts his dangerous exploits with gusto, he laments the loss of lives due not only to enemy fire but to the incompetence of certain of his colleagues. In one of the battles protecting a convoy, one of his team is shot down. He is devastated at the thought of the waste of human ingenuity and at the heartbreaks of countless mothers and fathers who had to mourn their young sons and daughters on both sides of the war.
Just before he enlisted in the army, Layton fell in love with Verna but, because of his immaturity and selfishness, he lies to her and she is forever lost to him.
We learn of the pranks officers play on each other with wild animals, while on duty in Africa. When the young officers are on leave, they enjoyed, even if it was for a very short time, the pleasures of the higher grounds of Kenya and how to play Polo. We follow these brave soldiers in their free time in Cairo and Alexandria, where Layton has a memorable love affair with a young Gabri and thereafter meets Laura, converts to Judaism and marries.
He has two daughters with Laura after the end of the war but their marriage is doomed.
The third time around, he meets Narcissza and they raise 6 children together, three of their own as well as Layton’s daughters from his previous marriage and Narcissza’s nephew.
He manages to realize his dream of being an actor but this phase does not last long (while he was married to Laura). Nowadays you finding him working in his hi-tech manufacturing company and writing to pass on his memoirs to his children and grand children.
Love and Sand is a very well written memoir that reads at a very fast clip and is a living testimonial to a by-gone and dangerous era.
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