Wings ~ Karl Friedrich
Genre: Adult Fiction/Historical
Publisher: McBooks Press
Source: Publisher via Librarything
Bland farm life in East Texas has nearly run Sally Ketchum into the ground. With a missing mother and a drunk father, there isn’t a lot to live for. There isn’t, at least, until the day Tex arrives and takes her flying. The day she sails up into the heavens, is the day that she knows that there’s more to life than the worn out pastures she’s always known. She and Tex fall in love and climb the skies, barnstorming their way through life, until tragedy leaves Sally alone, yet again.
At the end of her rope, Sally can barely believe it when Uncle Sam and his grand ideas step in, inviting her to join the WASP (Women Airforce Service Pilots). Though it’s a civilian corps, their main goal is to transport planes to free up young men to hit the front line. It’s about as close as she ever dreamed she’d get to adventure.
Sally joins a crowd of eager young women at Avenger Field in Sweetwater, TX, including rambunctious and vivacious, if slightly obnoxious, lingerie model, Dixie. The two become fast, albeit very unlikely friends.
Sally’s life takes an upturn as she steps up to defend her country. Little to her forewarning, though, it’s not the Germans she’ll battle against but hired gun, Ira Waterman, who represents all of the XY’s in congress who would rather see the WASP shut down than aide their young men with help from home.
Friedrich’s narrative is at once startlingly honest and fresh while proving to be jaded and wise. Knowing little to nothing about the WASP, going in to the book, I have to say, it’s become one of my favorite research points in U.S. history, currently. I find myself falling in love with this time period, the more I read about it. Friedrich does a bang up job of getting both male and female fears and hopes about both sexes in the service at the time and for that, he should be commended.