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Monday, August 6, 2018

Daughters of the Night Sky...#BookReview

About the book:
A novel—inspired by the most celebrated regiment in the Red Army—about a woman’s sacrifice, courage, and love in a time of war.

Russia, 1941. Katya Ivanova is a young pilot in a far-flung military academy in the Ural Mountains. From childhood, she’s dreamed of taking to the skies to escape her bleak mountain life. With the Nazis on the march across Europe, she is called on to use her wings to serve her country in its darkest hour. Not even the entreaties of her new husband—a sensitive artist who fears for her safety—can dissuade her from doing her part as a proud daughter of Russia.

After years of arduous training, Katya is assigned to the 588th Night Bomber Regiment—one of the only Soviet air units composed entirely of women. The Germans quickly learn to fear nocturnal raids by the daring fliers they call “Night Witches.” But the brutal campaign will exact a bitter toll on Katya and her sisters-in-arms. When the smoke of war clears, nothing will ever be the same—and one of Russia’s most decorated military heroines will face the most agonizing choice of all.

I've written before about my appreciation for stories about strong women. This novel is full of them. The premise was absolutely fascinating. I am not familiar at all with the Russian perspective of World War 2 and I certainly had no idea about their female pilots. I enjoyed this glimpse into their world. As with her previous novels, Aimie Runyan has written about women who support and encourage each other

Katya is a strong heroine and although a bit too perfect, she was someone I enjoyed getting to know. The relationships between the women were the core of the story and their resilience and strength was refreshing. Relationships, regardless of type, are never drama-free and here they are explored in a realistic way. Especially between Katya and Oksana.

Predictably, most of the men were stereotypical chauvinists of the time, but there was one scene in particular where the male major was verbally dressed down by his female counterpart. I loved that scene, because he'd been a jerk.

There is growth and maturity among these pilots from when they first arrive at training camp to when the war ends. There are battles and death and victory and loss. I could see the ending that was coming and while it fits with the story, I'm still not sure I loved it. But the story itself? That I enjoyed. That I can recommend.

Thanks to Netgalley and Novel Expressions for the opportunity to review this book. You can learn more about Aimie K. Runyan on her website and follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

Read 7/18

* * * *
4/5 Stars

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