This is not a time when women should be patient. We are in a war and we need to fight it with all our ability and every weapon possible. Women pilots, in this particular case, are a weapon waiting to be used. —Eleanor Roosevelt
The Flight Girls is a compelling story about women pilots during WWII strongly centered on the protagonist, Audrey Coltrane, whose goal in life has always been to fly. In 1941, she signed up to train military pilots stationed in Hawaii. She signed up for the job, make girlfriends and not to fraternize with men...until Lt. James Hart came into the picture and they became fast friends.
She flew circles around that island including the day the Japanese flew into Pearl Harbor. After the Pearl Harbor disaster struck the island and she was devastated by losses, she, James and her remaining girlfriends, packed up for their homes and new war serving opportunities. Audrey and James sadly parted ways as friends as he was shipped off to Europe and she joined the WASP (Women Airforce Service Pilots) Program in Texas. With a new set of challenges and cohort of strong women, they form unbreakable bonds that withstand Audrey's tests of war, hardship, worry and loss.
You know when a book just grips you and you cannot put it down? I flew through The Flight Girls in just 2 days so this book really did something to me. Audrey was such a devoted, goal-oriented and passionate woman, and I LOVED her as a protagonist. She reminded me a lot of myself. I knew women flew planes stateside during WWII, but wow...I did not realize how much of a bond those women had. There is something special about female friendship...the empathy, the sisterhood, the competitiveness and of course, the encouragement. The support those girls gave one another about their dreams, the men in their lives and their families. It practically soared off the pages, and it made me appreciate the strong bonds of friendship I have with my trio from high school, my housemates from college and dear teammates from field hockey. They are truly the best friends I've ever had.
Another part I adored was the relationship Audrey and James had. It was a beautifully crafted wartime romance with suspense, friendship and the realization they cannot be apart from one another. I don't want to spoil anything too much so I will leave it there.
All in all, a great book for Memorial Day Weekend as we celebrate those who served our country in the line of duty. Whether they came home or died bravely in the line of battle, I am so grateful for our soldiers and their service to our great nation.