Fenella J. Miller comes to the blog today with a story about the coming of age of women in Britain as they serve their country during the war in
The Spitfire Girl in the Skies
Ellie has been flying and teaching pilots for a while now, and with the war on she’s gone to serve her country in one of the only positions open to women of the time, joining the Woman’s Auxiliary Air Force, working with radar to keep the British flyers safe. With her mother, Uncle and one brother siding with Hitler, and her favorite brother killed in the fighting, she’s grasping on to her fiancé – an RAF pilot from a well-to-do family and hoping to join the ATA – where she will be flying planes from one base to another as needed. With her flying experience and hours logged, as well as her skills, she is one of the best qualified for the position and soon is the first in her group to fly the Spitfire after her 2 years of work.
Throughout the story, we see Ellie reconnect with her family, lose friends and her innocence, and as she’s finding that a quick marriage is what she wants, the subsequent heartbreak, closely followed by the loss of her fiancé after a crash has her determined to go it ‘alone’ and simply move forward. The book covers almost 2 years of time, with a couple of close friendships, moments celebrated and mourned, descriptions of air raids and privations, her determination to move forward and the more than welcome reconnection with Jack – a pilot and family friend who, after a stint in Africa, left the service, debated leaving England, and finally ended up in the ATA – regrouping and recollecting his own dreams with a cliffhanger ending on Ellie’s doorstep.
I can’t explain just how easy it was to engage with Ellie and understand her frustrations (and joys) in her service. The tint of romance with her deceased fiancé, and her moving forward and pilot ever-more increasingly complicated aircraft, her abilities and determination are quietly and consistently showing her own rightness for service and the capability of the women, many who were begrudgingly offered positions, to perform as well as the men. With plenty of backstory (her time with her brother and Jack before the war) to investigate, and a cliffhanger that means this is sure to be continued, this was a story that was engaging, interesting and full of heart, if occasionally feeling far too modern in speech and phrases.
Title: The Spitfire Girl in the Skies
Author: Fenella J. Miller
Genre: British, Historic Elements, Historic Woman's Fiction, New Adult - Coming of Age, Romantic Elements, Setting: Britain, World War II
Published by: Aria
Published on: 2 April, 2019
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
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With the men on the front line, courageous Ellie must do her bit for the war effort.
It's 1939 and the threat of war hangs over the country...
Flying instructor Ellie Simpson has grown up a tomboy. She's never had an interest in the latest fashions or finding a husband, her only passion is flying her beloved Tiger Moth. But when war is declared, she is no longer be able to do what she loves most - fly.
When Ellie is offered the opportunity to join the Women's Auxiliary Air Force, she jumps at the chance to help keep the brave boys in the RAF safe. But when tragedy strikes close to home, Ellie realises that this war could tear both the country she loves - and her heart - apart...
Perfect for fans of Nancy Revell, Rosie Archer and Daisy Styles.
A copy of this title was provided via Publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.