This post contains affiliate links.
As long-time readers know, my favorite genre, hands down, is historical fiction, especially WWII historical fiction. The Flight Girls by Noelle Salazar offered me a chance to learn about an aspect of WWII that I had not heard of before–the Women Airforce Service Pilots program. Women who knew how to fly, trained with the military to provide at home flight support, freeing the men to fight the war.
About The Flight Girls by Noelle Salazar
I should be honest and say that one of my least favorite genres is romance, and this book was a lot more romance than it was historical fiction.
The main story follows Audrey, a Southern woman from a wealthy family who has been flying since she was young. She takes a job in Hawaii training military pilots. There, she meets Lieutenant James Hart. The two develop a friendship, though clearly they both have deeper feelings. Yet Audrey plans to run an airstrip near her home and thinks marriage and children would just weigh her down. James also says he doesn’t want to marry.
The most exciting part of the book happens when Audrey and James are each flying in different planes with new recruits when the Japanese planes come in to bomb Pearl Harbor. A few of the planes divert to attack Audrey and James’ planes, and they’re lucky to make it out alive.
They both leave Hawaii after the attack. James goes to fight at the German front, and Audrey first goes home and then to the Women Airforce Service Pilots program. Audrey trains for five months, and then she flies various planes across the U.S. so soldiers can then fly them overseas to help in the war effort.
Audrey meets another military man and is briefly tempted to date him, but in the end, she remains loyal to James, even when he goes MIA.
My Thoughts on The Flight Girls
The Flight Girls was just not my kind of book. I was so bored the first 80 pages before the Pearl Harbor attack. Audrey and her three roommates spend a lot of time having parties, dating, and talking about men.
I thought after Pearl Harbor, we’d get into the heart of the book, but that never happened. Instead, there were just pages after pages of Audrey’s angst–which man should she choose? Does she love James? Can she be married and still have the life she wants? On, and on, and on. In fact, the historical part just resides in the periphery.
I think this could have been a really great book if Salazar had delved deeply into the war and the women’s jobs delivering planes, but it just doesn’t happen. There was simply too much romance for me. I finished the book hoping it would redeem itself, but it never did.
I give this book 2 out of 5 stars on the Mom’s Plans’ scale.