Thursday, October 27, 2011


Karl Friedrich
ISBN: 978-1-59013-570-9
Publisher: McBooks Press
Source: TLC Book Tour
Follow the Tour: TOUR STOPS

About the Book:

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.


“This book is dedicated to every woman who defies convention in order to live her dream.”
The above quote is the dedication found in this book.  Yes, I read each dedication and I loved this one.  It might be my favorite one yet.  The dedication sums up the book better than I could.  It simply impressed me from the start.   Luckily, while finishing my read, I was left with the same impressed state as I entered the book with.  Here’s why….
There was a time when women in the military were acceptable, if they were taking care of the men.  For example, women were the cooks, the nurses, the laundry maids and home support.  While the phrase “The military is no place for a woman” sounds charming and heroic, I can’t help but think it’s not.  Were women being protected by their men or were they simply not deemed intelligent or capable enough?  Regardless of the reason, there have always been the women who wanted to do more.  These women are the ones who became known as Fly Girls.  They are the women who paved the way for others.  They are the first women to fly military aircraft despite those who thought they were incapable.  Not only did they prove to be capable, they in many ways surpassed their male counterparts with their flying abilities.
During WWII Fly Girls were given the opportunity to be civilian aviators in order to free men up for combat.  These women Air force Service Pilots or “WASP” were under no contract and allowed to leave their post at any time, though they were paid half the salary of their male counterparts.  The women delivered airplanes for the military after training for five months. 
Wings focuses on the main character, Sally and her story.  Sally, who came from a life of poverty and insecurity has no reason to stay in Texas and decides to join the WASP program.  Among the daily activities and duties involved with her WASP training, Sally deals with teasing among the women, harassment from the male pilots and a lawyer who was commissioned by Congress to shut down the WASP program. (Which shows you how much our country has changed)  Despite it all, Sally prevails and in the end is known as the best pilot in the army.
This novel captures the 1940’s era beautifully.  Based off true stories, the novel takes a realistic and believable look at this time in our nation.  Just as Martin Luther is remembered for racial rights and working towards equality, Fly Girls and the 1940’s begins the process of equality between men and women.  It was interesting to read the sexist attitudes that are so apparent in this book.  I enjoyed reading about our country during this time period in a new way.  This novel is a step outside the box in regards to WWII fiction.  The story is fascinating and educational.  It’s a great debut and a wonderful piece of historical fiction.  It captured the time period beautifully, making me feel as if I opened a time capsule.  The characters are full of charisma and rooted in history.
I highly recommend this novel.  It grabs your attention from the beginning and flows easily.  It simply makes you proud to be a woman.
Highly Recommended

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