Friday, August 13, 2010

Year of the Historical: Flygirl

FlygirlFlygirl Sherri L. Smith

This one (rightly) got a lot of buzz when it first came out. All Ida Mae has ever wanted to do was fly. After her father passed, she still flew his crop duster plane. People around their farm knew her-- they didn't mind she was a girl or colored. But, even though they knew a place that would give a colored person their pilot's license, they won't give one to a woman.Then the war happened and the plane and fuel were saved for the war effort. When the service starts hiring female pilots, Ida knows they won't take her, unless... she's always been light-skinned and knows she could pass for white. So, with a borrowed outfit and forged pilot's license, she's off to help the war effort.

Only, passing means she has to deny her family and her past. When her mother comes to visit, she has to pretend to be Ida's former maid. She can't openly mourn that her brother's missing in the Pacific. A small mis-step will get her kicked out of the WASPs- if she's lucky.

A wonderfully written story about family and home, following your heart, friendship, and flying. Most of the discussion about this book deals with Ida's passing, and the fact that, as far as anyone knows, no one passed as white to get into the WASPs. These are such heady and important issues, that not a lot of people talk about the flying. In addition to everything mentioned above (which is done beautifully) this is also a great book about flying in the 40s, daily life as a WASP pilot, and the hardships these pilots faced just because they were women.

A wonderful story that's beautifully written.

Book Provided by... my local library

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