I am so pleased to have been chosen by TLC Book Tours to be part of the tour for Wings: A Novel of World War II Flygirls. I was intrigued by this book for two reasons, first because as a lover of all things history, I know that women's history is often overlooked, and because one of my husband's great aunts was part of the Canadian Womens Corp in World War II and I always love finding books that might expand on my knowledge of family stories or that I can find a connection to.
From the Publisher:
Sally Ketchum comes from dirt-poor farm folk. She has little chance of bettering her life until a mysterious barnstormer named Tex teaches her to fly—and becomes the first person worthy of her love. But Tex dies in a freak accident, leaving Sally to make her own way in the world. She enrolls in the U.S. military’s Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) program, and in a special school located in West Texas begins learning to fly the biggest, fastest, meanest airplanes the military has to offer. She also reluctantly becomes involved with Beau Bayard, a flight instructor and aspiring writer, who seems to offer her everything she could want. But many people see no place for a “skirt” in the cockpit, and Sally soon finds herself pitted against a high-powered Washington lawyer who wants to disband the WASP once and for all. Their battle is a story of extraordinary women who broke society’s rules and became heroes, and of men who stood in their way.
Not being from the South, I struggled with the opening of this book - I had a hard time getting past some of the language and into the story, but that all passed quickly and I ended up immersed in the nineteen-forties and watching as Sally grows into a strong, independent woman in a world that really isn't ready for it. I really love the depth that this author goes into, portraying the nuances of the lives of Sally, Dixie and the other characters in the book, painting a dramatic portrait of what the lives of women were like at that time.
As you would expect from a novel set during war, there is tension, drama and romance, but this novel took it past my expectations to a level of understanding that was magnificent. The male characters run the gamut of my expectations as well - those who are supportive and professional, those who are rude and obnoxious, afraid of the women usurping their glory and then the truly evil one who is bent on destroying everything.
Even though I knew the general history of the WASP's and their story, reading Wings opened up my eyes to what the day to day struggle must have been like for these courageous and strong women.
If you are interested in women's history, WWII or just want to read an excellently crafted story, then I suggest you check out Wings: A Novel of World War II Flygirls
About the Author:
Karl Friedrich was born and grew up in Tyler, Texas. He has worked as a newspaper reporter, magazine and public relations writer, advertising copywriter, and photographer. A lifelong aviation fan, he got his first ride in an airplane at the age of five (“If I’d been six, I’d have had the sense to stay on the ground, as the thing was held together with rust and bailing wire,” he recalls.)
Karl’s friends who fly commercial, military or private aircraft, and his lifelong fascination with women who achieve great accomplishment despite the displeasure of men, provided the inspiration and impetus for Wings.
Karl and his wife live in Washington State.
And one lucky US or Canadian reader will win their own copy of Wings!
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book at no cost for the purpose of completing my review. All opinions are my own.