#BookReview: The Flight Girls by Noelle Salazar #stephlvsbooks @noelle_salazar @HarlequinBooks #MIRABooks #TheFlightGirls #historicalfiction #WWII #histfic

flightgirls

Book Title and Author: The Flight Girls by Noelle Salazar
Publication Date and Publisher: July 2, 2019 by MIRA
Genre: Historical Fiction, WWII
Pages: 384 pages
Buy on Amazon.com
Date Read: June 22, 2019 (papercopy from the publisher)
Goodreads

4 Stars

 

Goodreads Synopsis:

A stunning story about the Women Airforce Service Pilots, whose courage during World War II turned ordinary women into extraordinary heroes

1941. Audrey Coltrane has always wanted to fly. It’s why she implored her father to teach her at the little airfield back home in Texas. It’s why she signed up to train military pilots in Hawaii when the war in Europe began. And it’s why she insists she is not interested in any dream-derailing romantic involvements, even with the disarming Lieutenant James Hart, who fast becomes a friend as treasured as the women she flies with. Then one fateful day, she gets caught in the air over Pearl Harbor just as the bombs begin to fall, and suddenly, nowhere feels safe.

To make everything she’s lost count for something, Audrey joins the Women Airforce Service Pilots program. The bonds she forms with her fellow pilots reignite a spark of hope in the face war, and—especially when James goes missing in action—give Audrey the strength to cross the front lines and fight for everything she holds dear.

Shining a light on a little-known piece of history, The Flight Girls is a sweeping portrayal of women’s fearlessness in the face of adversity, and the power of friendship to make us soar.

My Thoughts:

I knew when I read the synopsis for The Flight Girls that I would enjoy this book immensely, and I wasn’t wrong. My husband is an Air Force veteran with a private pilots license, so it’s safe to say that I’ve spent plenty of my time in and around lots of planes over the past 25 years, either as a passenger or watching them from the ground. There’s something magical about flying, and Noelle Salazar manages to perfectly capture that in her debut novel even amidst the most harrowing of times―WWII.

Audrey Coltrane has always known exactly what she wants: to fly planes and eventually own her own air hanger, not be tied down with a husband and children like her mother expects. When the Army begins hiring women pilots to train new male recruits how to fly, she immediately takes the job and heads to Pearl Harbor. There she makes friends, especially with Lt. James Hart, one of the few people to understands her dreams. It’s also where she’s caught up in the fateful attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, while up in the sky.

Audrey’s brave spirit continues to persevere through the war as she joins the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP), women trained by the army to ferry planes from one military base to another and test new and repaired aircraft before it was sent overseas, all without the benefits of militarization.

Salazar’s novel is immediately fascinating, her writing crisp, and the characters unforgettable, some heartbreakingly so. It’s particularly apparent when reading the descriptions of the training Audrey and the other women in the program went through, their day to day lives, the hard realities of the program, the male-dominated environment, the accidents, the deaths that Salazar meticulously researched the WASP program and the histories of real-life WASP women because the novel has such a realistic feel within every description.

What I loved most about this novel is the depictions of the relationships between the women in the program. Except for their love of flying, they couldn’t have been any more different, yet they bonded and became such wonderful friends. Salazar captured such distinctive personalities and clearly showed how these women were breaking the glass ceiling for the generations of women to follow them.

I’ve read many, many books about WWII but never one about the WASP women. Their courage, sacrifice, and heroism during WWII were spectacular and Salazar has written an excellent first novel depicting those attributes. It’s also a love story and an epic one too. The Flight Girls is an emotionally compelling debut (yes, I cried), and I look forward to Salazar’s next novel!

**Thank you MIRA-Harlequin Books for the gifted copy. All opinions are my own.**

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15 thoughts on “#BookReview: The Flight Girls by Noelle Salazar #stephlvsbooks @noelle_salazar @HarlequinBooks #MIRABooks #TheFlightGirls #historicalfiction #WWII #histfic

    1. It really was, Diana. I so admire these women and wish they’d been recognized as they should have been for their service in WWII. It definitely was relatable-we are going flying July 3rd! Thank you!

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  1. We’re in the middle of a harsh thunderstorm. It doesn’t look like you got my comment, so I’ll try again. We’re having problems with the internet because of the storm. Thanks for a great review. I’ll add this one to my TBR list. I look forward to reading it.

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    1. Oh no! I hope you are ok. I love thunderstorms, but I hate when they mess with the power/internet. You’re welcome, Kathy! This was a fantastic one. I think you’d really like it!

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  2. Yay! I’m so happy to read you loved this and loved reading about your personal connection to flying. I am starting this one today and cannot wait! Lovely review, my friend! Another original WWII story! We never tire of them! ♥️

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    1. I did and I think you will too! I can’t wait to hear your thoughts. Oh, yes when you’re married to an ex-AF mechanic who is now an aerospace engineer and flies planes, you now a lot about planes, lol. We’re going flying next week up for the day (his birthday and he wanted to go flying!). I loved reading about these women-so brave! I love reading about this era if it’s like you said original, which this definitely is! ♥

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  3. I can see why the links and interest you already have, with your husband being in the Air Force, make this all the more intriguing. I really like that it centres on women at this time, and I can imagine it being very moving to read about Pearl Harbour; I can only imagine how harrowing being caught up in that must have been, I think I’d cry reading this, too! I really like it when an author combines lots of different personalities and brings each to life well enough, it gives more depth to a book. Sounds like a very poignant read. Very nicely reviewed as always, Steph!
    Caz xx

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    1. It is and it’s something he loves to do. Funny, our boys don’t like planes at all but my daughter loves them, so I thought of her when I read this, lol. It was, especially for a debut novel. Thanks!

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