Fair Stood The Wind For France
Bates is a Romance – Fiction set at the height of World War Two. The story
follows the main character, John Franklin, through his journey when he brings
his aircraft down into occupied France. The novel deals with love, war,
isolation and conflict; although there is no specific theme to the book. I felt
that the book’s purpose was very clear. Bates wanted to show that within all
the horrors of war, two people were able to find love and happiness. Franklin
had crashed his plane and his arm was severely damaged. Yet while looking for
help he found a wonderful family, and if that had not happened then Franklin
would never have been able to meet Francoise. Bates makes it clear that there is
always some good in all evil, even war. The book’s title is taken from the
poem by Michael Drayton (1563-1631) which is at the beginning of the book. The
short verse of the poem is relative to a naval experience (from the referral to
sails advancing), which partially ties in with the main setting of the book.

Apart from "France", the actual title never said or made reference to. The
title was taken from the poem, which most likely in its complete form was more
to do with war. Although from just the book, the actual title does not have a
significant amount of relation and ties in with the story poorly. The story
takes place in the Second World War when Franklin and his co-pilots take the
plane down. Franklin’s arm is hurt very badly but luckily they go down in an
area of France that is occupied and they can get help promptly. After walking
for a significant amount of time they find a farm where a very pleasant family
takes them. The family, which consists of Francoise (the girl), her father, her
brother Pierre and her Grandmother see to it that Franklin’s arm is taken care
of. They also helped to get and/or make citizenship papers for the men. They
seek medical help from two doctors who are successful in amputating Franklin’s
arm. They produce citizen papers for two of the men so they are able to go home.

Hoping the same for the other two, their plan is for Franklin and O’Connor to
leave once their papers are found. Franklin falls very ill though and not
knowing how his future will develop O’Connor leaves once the appropriate
arrangements are made. When the Germans kill the two doctors that helped

Franklin the daughter of one of them becomes very depressed. With Francoise’s
father having a very strong liking of her he too becomes depressed which results
in his suicide. Papers are finally produced for Franklin so he and Francoise
leave heading for England. They journey up a river so that they are able to pass
the Germans. At one point Franklin has a sudden urge to escape to England but
when caught by gunned arms runs, he happens upon O’Connor. O’Connor is
injured and rests while Francoise and Franklin look for his papers. They find
citizen paper’s for him and board a train headed for England. At the train
station Francoise runs into problems with the Germans and the result is

O’Connor’s death. The style this book is not my preference although it is
written very well. It is very descriptive, so much that it is extremely
pictorial. Bates describes everything feasible and draws a very detailed picture
in your mind. He also describes feelings extremely well. When Franklin is
enduring much pain in his arm Bates is able to make you almost experience the
pain for yourself. As well when Francoise and Franklin are falling in love their
feelings for each other are depicted very well. The landscapes that the story
comes across are also illustrated excellently. The authority of this book I feel
is very much intact. The feelings portrayed in the novel are real and vivid. The
love that Francoise and Franklin have for each other is extremely believable.

Bates must know the way humans associate or have acquired some additional
knowledge because the manner that the two relate to each other in the story is
remarkably authentic to actual human interaction. Despite the previous authority
mentioned when Franklin happened to meet Mrs. Campbell and Mrs. Baker and they
gave him their former butler’s papers, I found that very overwrought.