Rest in Peace: Eddie's Bones
by Isabela Hart
Trafford Publishing

"I suggest today's young politicians must get real and accept a most worrying fact. We must stop the clock now and return to the good old days of decent behavior back in the twenties."

Phil Collins, when part of the progressive rock group, Genesis, once penned a song called "Blood on the Rooftops" which featured an old man lamenting the social changes that had occurred in England since his childhood. In some ways this book recaptures the moody despair of that song as the narrator first recalls his boisterous boyhood in Scotland and rough beginnings as a young man in England and on the continent before moving to more philosophical ramblings in later chapters.

Eddie Fleming begins his story by recalling the poverty of his upbringing in Kilmarnock, Scotland, during the lean times between the First and Second World Wars. Hart does an admirable job of capturing the atmosphere of the time period, and the various misadventures of Eddie and his gang provide some of the most memorable moments in the book. Eddie's first stab at a better life for himself happens when he enrolls at RAF Cranwell in 1943 at the age of fifteen. However, the war ends before he can become the hero he dreams to be. Feeling cheated and chafing at English discipline, he becomes rebellious and is eventually mustered out of the peacetime RAF after spending much of it either in lockup or on the lam. Turbulent decades follow with some successes but even more failures both personally and in business. Toward the end of the book the reader sees an old man in poor health who rants against the demographic shifts and the changes in the social mores of his country.

While frequent grammar errors and the lack of editing make this work often difficult to read, Hart is to be commended for ambitiously trying to capture a long and complex life in such a short book. Bigoted, opinionated, yet very real, Eddie is a character worth knowing about.

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