Book Review: The Secrets of Flight
About the book:
This captivating, breakout novel—told in alternating viewpoints—brings readers from the skies of World War II to the present day, where a woman is prepared to tell her secrets at last.
Estranged from her family since just after World War II, Mary Browning has spent her entire adult life hiding from her past. Now eighty-seven years old and a widow, she is still haunted by secrets and fading memories of the family she left behind. Her one outlet is the writing group she’s presided over for a decade, though she’s never written a word herself. When a new member walks in—a fifteen-year-old girl who reminds her so much of her beloved sister Sarah—Mary is certain fate delivered Elyse Strickler to her for a reason.
Mary hires the serious-eyed teenager to type her story about a daring female pilot who, during World War II, left home for the sky and gambled everything for her dreams—including her own identity.
As they begin to unravel the web of Mary’s past, Mary and Elyse form an unlikely friendship. Together they discover it’s never too late for second chances and that sometimes forgiveness is all it takes for life to take flight in the most unexpected ways.
My review: 4 stars.
First off, one of my favorite periods in history is the role of women in World War II. I did my undergraduate senior project on women nurses in the war and have done a lot of personal research on the various volunteer branches of the military that gained popularity in that time. So I loved the premise for the book right off the bat.
I enjoyed Mary’s character, learning about her life and how the friendship of Mary and Elyse develops, as I enjoy multi-generation relationships and learning how present circumstances are informed by things from the past. And the book is about writing and the relationship with writing/writers, so that also was a lovely treat to read about.
History-wise, I can tell the author did a lot of research on the WASPs (Women Air Force Service Pilots) and women flying during World War II. It’s also timely since Congress just allowed WW2 volunteer servicewomen to be buried at Arlington National Cemetary (finally!)
As part of the TLC Book Tour of this book, I was provided an advanced copy of the book in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.