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.
Sally's life is inherently unhappy, except for her brief time with Tex, the man who taught her to fly and the man with whom she fell in love. After his death, she learns about the WASP program and enrolls to become a female military pilot. Once at school, however, she learns that there are those who want the program disbanded and of one individual, in particular, who has a personal vendetta against her.
While historically, this is a very rich novel, it's not a particularly happy story. Sally's life is hard and it never gets easier, although she's tough and plucky and manages to overcome obstacles and adversity. She meets an a assortment of young women in the WASP program, all of whom have their own secrets and reasons for joining up. Their collective story is fascinating. Moderate profanity and innuendo is noted.
I think Karl Friedrich has done a terrific job of portraying a time in our history that was difficult for all: those who went to war and those who were left behind. Women rose to the occasion and took on many jobs that until the war came, had been male only jobs, including flying military jets. I'm appalled at the treatment these women received at the hand of our government and I'm proud of them for the pathway they paved for future women.
Thanks to Lisa at TLC Book Tours for the opportunity to review this book. You can purchase your own copy here. You can see other reviews and tour stops here.
Monday, October 3rd: A Bookish Librarian
Tuesday, October 4th: Life in Review
Wednesday, October 5th: Acting Balanced
Monday, October 10th: The Life (and lies) of an inanimate flying object - guest post
Tuesday, October 11th: Diary of an Eccentric
Wednesday, October 12th: “That’s Swell!”
Thursday, October 13th: Man of La Book
Saturday, October 15th: Man of La Book - author Q&A
Tuesday, October 18th: Reviews from the Heart
Wednesday, October 19th: A Bookish Affair
Thursday, October 20th: Bags, Books & Bon Jovi
Friday, October 21st: Flight to Success
Monday, October 24th: Melody & Words
Tuesday, October 25th: Unabridged Chick
Wednesday, October 26th: Staircase Wit
Thursday, October 27th: 2 Kids and Tired Books
Tuesday, November 1st: Joyfully Retired
Wednesday, November 2nd: The House of the Seven Tails
Thursday, November 3rd: Life on the Road as a Pilot
Date TBD: A Cozy Reader’s Corner
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