The Wings to Fly
Lisa Marie Gabriel
Of all the romantic icons of the early 20th century, pioneering aviatrixes (aviatrices??) are some of the most romantic, at least in my opinion. So that, combined with my interest in reading a broad sampling of the war-related writing that’s currently being putting out, meant I had to check this book out when I discovered it.
“The Wings to Fly” follows Midge, the tomboy daughter of a WWI pilot who teaches her and her brother Ben to fly equally. Midge loves flying even more than her brother and is even better at it, and is frustrated by the barriers put in her way. She also has a close friendship with her adopted cousin, who eventually becomes her sister-in-law…or is it more than friendship? There’s also Rose, a Land Army worker in England during WWII who’s been separated from her lover, who happens to be a woman.
The story covers a lot of ground, following a number of characters over the better part of 20 years, and partakes in several genres. It’s a “girl power” story of female flyers who are determined to contribute to the war effort, no matter what barriers the men put in their way; it’s a love story; and a family novel. Some readers may find that this makes it feel a little unfocused, but Midge, in turns spitfire and sympathetic, anchors the plotline. Although it is a war story and tragedy does strike, both to the fictional characters and to the real characters who form the background of the story–e.g., the deaths of Amelia Earhart while exploring and Amy Johnson while flying a war mission– it’s also a feel-good story about how life can go on. Recommended for readers looking for a warmhearted depiction of women’s contribution to the war effort in WWII and/or for wholesome stories of lesbian love.
Buy link: Amazon