Monday, January 19, 2009

Flygirl by Sherri L. Smith

Here’s a subject matter you don’t hear about every day: It’s the early 1940s the Women Airforce Service Pilot(s—it’s also plural)—are serving in the WWII-era United States. Because they’re women, they’re taken for granted and are not considered an official part of the United States army, stripping them of any benefits they would’ve had otherwise. On top of all things going against her as a woman, our main character Ida Mae deals with another type of prejudice, being that she’s of African descent.

Cool premise, huh? Here’s another one for the books: Ida Mae is biracial, so she’s got fair skin but was brought up in a black neighborhood. To join the WASP she has to essentially deny her race and therefore her family (all of whom have darker skin that she does), which unsettles and offends her mother. I’ve always been one for unique concepts and conflicts, and this novel delivers in that aspect.

Ida Mae goes through training to become a WASP and I felt this connection to the girls there and their resulting kinship with one another after spending months together. It’s a really nice and feel-good kind of bond they have, and there’s even a wave of excitement that comes with a good conflict when the feeling’s compromised by Ida Mae’s alienation from pretending to be part of a white-girl group and that it’s all a lie. It’s not that the characters had a remarkable amount of depth to them—they got by. But it was the ensemble that really worked for the book. I saw the kind of relationship they had and how much they strived and fought for their integration into the army, and it was very convincing. That was in my opinion the biggest thing this had going for it.

So, I liked Flygirl. It is a solid 3-stars, which isn’t the rating system I use and unfortunately I can’t find an equivalent, so we’ll call it on the brink of a B, okay? I’d recommend it for someone looking for a little-known subject in WWII history or just looking for a little originality.

Flygirl will be available in hardcover in three short days :)

G.P. Putnam’s Sons (YR) | 256 pages | January 22nd, 2008 | Author Site | GoodReads | Amazon

8 comments:

tencentnotes said...

I want to read this book insanely bad. I probably won't get to it until it's in paperback and I buy it but I want to read it just for the fact that it's abut a girl who wants to fly.

Taren said...

I think it sounds great and I can't wait to read it! What a great concept!

Jaime said...

I just have to tell you that in the short time I've been reading your blog, I've ended up buying several books you've reviewed, and adding more to my Amazon wish list. So, basically, thanks! I can't wait to read this one!

The Not So Closet Geeks said...

This book sounds so original! I love reading about strong female protaganists (I was a huge fan of your Girl Week), so I'll probably read this one.

~bella aire~

Reader Rabbit said...

This one's next on my TBR ;)
Great review...B sounds decent. xD

Lenore said...

This was exactly how I imagined your reaction would be while I was reading it!

Amee said...

Sounds good. I love period novels. I'll have to keep an eye out for this once it's in paperback. :)

Becky said...

How funny that you mentioned it was a brink of a B. That was my rating too! (Though I don't publish my ratings for all the world to see)

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