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Oh, That I Had Wings Paperback – August 5, 2009


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New Adult Fiction by Rainbow Rowell
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 324 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (August 5, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 144862911X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1448629114
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.9 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,911,947 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

A coming-of-age romance set in the early 20th century.

In a mountain valley in Stones Mill, Va., nine-year-old Jack Langdon shares a bed with his younger brothers and sidesteps blows from surly father John. One bright spot is Jack's grandmother and her prophecies, which hint that the boy's destiny lies in becoming a lady's special protector. When his sister Grace is born, Jack believes she is his lady of prophecy. He becomes Grace's "proverbial guard dog," defending her against his brothers and his father, who attacks Jack with a brick, shortly after his 17th birthday. In 1917, volunteers are needed for the U.S. Army, and Jack readily enlists. En route to the military base, he sees a beautiful, red-haired, green-eyed girl, who becomes his wartime fantasy. On the Western Front, he experiences the horrors of trench warfare. In France, lovely nurse Esmé cares for an injured Jack--and he eventually follows her to Paris, where she teaches him more than a few French phrases. The war ends and Jack returns home, encountering the gorgeous redhead he thought he'd never see again. Alice wears pants and makeup, has an aunt who was a suffragette and can hold her own with Jack's father--none of which endears her to his family or the locals. The book is a simple, charming story and Jack is an amiable guy who, like George Bailey of Bedford Falls, wants to leave his hometown but seems tethered to a retractable cord. Especially touching is Jack's fear that he is more like his father than he'd hoped. The narrative explores Jack and Alice's thoughts and feelings, making them both sympathetic characters. In spite of historical references, there's no vital sense that events are unfolding in the early 1900s, but the tale's inspiring undercurrent is the promise of a better life.

Engaging, evenly paced story of a young man's journey from first romance to enduring love. --Kirkus Discoveries, November 5, 2009

About the Author

Sarah Pawley lives near Fort Knox. She has been a life-long writer, a lover of books, and is currently working on her third novel. She loves to hear from readers...you can contact her through her website at http://sarahpawley.webs.com/

More About the Author

I grew up near Chicago, but I now live in Brandenburg, KY which is close to Fort Knox. Writing is my passion, as is reading. I'm more into non-fiction these days when I find the time to read, but I do enjoy a great story, especially romance.

My family has a very colorful past which I mine quite frequently for my stories. My father has always been a great storyteller, so I partly have him to think for my wild imagination.

Customer Reviews

I immediately bought Book 2 as soon as I finished this book.
Susieq
The story line was simple as well as the characters but this is why I enjoyed this book.
Cheryl Koch
I read the sequel first and it didn't ruin the first book at all, only made it better.
Megan

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

31 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Ruth Ann Nordin on August 9, 2009
Format: Paperback
Jack Langdon grew up in a home where men ruled the home and women's wishes were not taken into consideration. When his mother gives birth to a girl (who is the heroine in the novel "Finding Grace"), his father is disappointed because he wanted another son. Seeing this, Jack immediately becomes protective of her. His relationship with his father is far from ideal, and the day comes when he cannot stay home anymore. So he enters WWI.

There, he transforms from a naive boy to a knowledgable young man. He's faced with the horrors of war and his first love interest makes him evaluate what love really is and what it means. But the day comes when the war ends and he returns home. As much as some things have not changed back at the place where he grew up, he has. So when he comes across a young woman named Alice who is an independent thinker, he's naturally attracted to her. The rest of the book chronicles the challenges that the two face.

I really enjoyed this book. Jack was a sweetheart and very easy to like. His views of women is different from his father's, so there are often clashes on this point. I like the relationship between him and his younger sister. I also liked the realities of war that he experienced. Sarah Pawley has done a lot of research and it shows in the book. The wording and the setting is authentic. The pacing is steady so I didn't get bored. And I especially love the romance between Jack and Alice. The two were so wonderful together, and after everything Jack had been through, it was nice to see him with her.

I definitely recommend this book if you are looking for something that is realistic. This is not a fluffy piece of fiction. It is deep. Parts will make you cry and parts will make you laugh, but the ending will leave you satisfied.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Jill on July 27, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I hate to be the lone negative person here, but I really was disappointed in this book. After reading all the glowing reviews, I was quite surprised by all the typos and grammatical errors in the book. Both that and the characters' unrealistic way of speaking for the time period were very distracting to me. The story itself started pretty well, but by the end I was skimming just to get it finished...good enough to want to know how it ended, but just not very enjoyable anymore. I will say, though, that the story of Henry caught my attention. Since I hear another sequel is planned, I'm hoping for a happy ending for him.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By singerdeb on June 8, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Oh, That I Had Wings started so well but then disappointed the further you went. Too bad it didn't continue to engage the reader!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on June 23, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I find that some of the plot is a little far fetched. Meeting the red-haired girl in his home town after 3 years is a little hard to believe.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Robert T. Cooper on May 19, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The characters were pretty good. The plot line seemed a bit predictable. I enjoyed the first part of the book. Th musing of Jack at the last seemed too drawn out.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By AF Michael on May 17, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Oh, that Sarah had written a 3rd or 4th book to the series. I loved this one and the one that followed. It was a treat to go back in time and meet The Langdons with their spunk, bravery and true loves. I lost myself for a good while without regret for the chores that awaited me.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on October 13, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Like most of the other reviewers, I read Finding Grace first (a free book at the time). I enjoyed Finding Grace, researched the author, and realized there was a recently-released prequel. The book provides interesting background into Grace's childhood, but for me the real appeal was the vivid settings and colorful character personalities. Usually I find that free books, especially historical romance ones, suffer from one-dimensional characters, flat dialogue, and magical endings where issues miraculously resolve in the last 4 pages. This book was much deeper and more realistic; I appreciated that the couple actually exchanged realistic dialogue that kept me both laughing at times and angry at times. On the whole, definitely recommended (and check out Finding Grace as well).
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By SeaBreezeGal on May 13, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
OH, THAT I HAD WINGS is the prequel to FINDING GRACE. This is Jack's story. At times it was hard to read. His father was pretty violent. I really enjoyed watching he and Alice's relationship progress. One of my favorite parts of the book was where Alice challenged his dad to a contest. All of Jack's experiences, good and bad really helped to shape him into the man he becomes. This also is a book that I will enjoy reading again.
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