A Warm Blanket. Ok, so I’m ripping off a video game review I just read with that title for this review, but it fits. This book has exactly one feature that others of its type -WWII flygirl stories -released in the last year or so did not, and while that one feature winds up enhancing the story pretty dramatically, it can be a bit jarring at first due to mostly not having any time cues. The effect turns out to be mostly cool, as I personally came to see the fades in a very cinematic fashion. It just took a few chapters to pick up on what was happening. If you have read some of the other WWII flygirl stories this year, you’ll enjoy this one. If you’re new to this particular type of tale, this is still a solid entry in that line. It isn’t overly new or revolutionary, but it is a solidly comforting warm blanket. Very much recommended.
The story here was brilliantly executed… in its first two thirds. In this section, the drama focuses around the race to determine who will be the first female to pilot a four engine bomber beyond training and the race to get Spitfire fighters to the USS Wasp for an emergency trip to Malta to shore up defenses there. Lane brilliantly balances the personal and the professional through this section across all three of her leading ladies, and the book truly shines.
But after the race to get the Spitfires to their staging base, the book switches gears and the balance of the drama stumbles as the primary emphasis is placed on the personal while the professional primarily happens off screen and is more often told of in letter form than shown. While there are still some haymakers thrown here, including one that touched this reader personally with his father having similar struggles, it just isn’t quite as “unputdownable” through this section as the first two thirds of the book were.
But the final chapter of the book is an excellent ending to the mainline story, and while the epilogue is arguably unneeded, it does at a final exclamation – and catharsis – point.
Overall, a strong book that could have been stronger, and I’m looking forward to reading more work from this author.
And as always, the Goodreads/ Amazon review:
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