This captivating breakout novel - told in alternating viewpoints - brings listeners from the skies of World War II to the present day, where a woman is prepared to tell her secrets at last.
Estranged from her family since just after World War II, Mary Browning has spent her entire adult life hiding from her past. Now 87 years old and a widow, she is still haunted by secrets and fading memories of the family she left behind. Her one outlet is the writing group she's presided over for a decade, though she's never written a word herself. When a new member walks in - a 15-year-old girl who reminds her so much of her beloved sister, Sarah - Mary is certain fate delivered Elyse Strickler to her for a reason.
Mary hires the serious-eyed teenager to type her story about a daring female pilot who, during World War II, left home for the sky and gambled everything for her dreams - including her own identity.
As they begin to unravel the web of Mary's past, Mary and Elyse form an unlikely friendship. Together they discover it's never too late for second chances and that sometimes forgiveness is all it takes for life to take flight in the most unexpected ways.
©2016 Maggie Leffler (P)2016 HarperCollins Publishers
If I had a top ten of audio performances, this would be on it. The alternating voices of a teenager (who sounds like one) and an old lady (who sounds like one) were a perfect balance. Both audio narrators were excellent. I would have liked this book a lot had I read it, but having listened to it...4.5 stars!
It was one of those "heartwarming" stories that I usually hate. Maybe because there's enough bad stuff that happens to everyone, enough sadness without making you feel depressed, enough complexity in the plotline, enough mystery, enough of the historical (female pilots in WW2), and so on.
I read the reviews on Amazon and was kind of surprised. It seems like most people think everything is a 5 star read (and so often what people rate 5 star, I return because it's so very bad) but this was spread out between 3, 4, and 5 stars. Which is why I feel compelled to actually write this.
The book is very well written, characters are fully developed, great plot--ok, tiny quibble with one of the main plot points. Without getting into spoilers: I got it because I can relate and understand the particular issue in American history but I did wonder if it had been explored enough that so people who couldn't relate and had no background would be convinced.
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