The Flight Girls

Noelle Salazar. Mira, $26.99 (384p) ISBN 978-0-7783-0916-1
Salazar gives the history of the relatively unknown Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASPs) during WWII a glossy treatment in her uneven debut. In the days leading up to Pearl Harbor, Audrey Coltrane is a civilian flight instructor for military trainees in Hawaii. While off-duty at the beach, she meets handsome flyboy Lt. James Hart, and due to her personal code of living for flying only, tells him that they can’t be more than friends. After December 7, Audrey volunteers to be a WASP, whose job is to ferry planes around the country—thus freeing male pilots for combat—and undergoes rigorous training at Avenger Field in Texas. Through the training and as an active WASP, Audrey corresponds with James, who is based in England. But when he is reported missing in action, Audrey’s life goes into a tailspin, and she later ferries a plane to France in hopes of being able to find him. The author does an excellent job of dramatizing the camaraderie among the WASPs. But she doesn’t fully address the sexism the female flyers faced, and the central relationship is like something out of a 1940s movie, except that Audrey strikes too contemporary a note. This novel can’t quite get itself off the ground. (July)
Reviewed on : 04/30/2019
Release date: 07/02/2019
Genre: Fiction
Paperback - 384 pages
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