Published by Gallery Books on October 4th 2016
Genres: Action & Adventure, Fiction, Historical
Soar back to the fearless 1920s with #1 New York Times bestselling writer Laurie Notaro—beloved author of The Idiot Girls’ Action Adventure Club—in a stunning historical novel that tells the true, little-known story of three aviatrixes in a race to be the first woman to fly across the Atlantic.
Ten thousand feet in the sky, flipping and twirling through the air, aviatrixes from London to Paris to New York—fueled by determination and courage—have their eyes on the century’s biggest prize. The year is 1927, and Amelia Earhart has not yet made her record-breaking cross-Atlantic flight. Who will follow in Charles Lindbergh’s footsteps and make her own history?
Three women’s names are splashed daily across the front page: Elsie Mackay, daughter of an Earl, is the first Englishwoman to get her pilot’s license. Mabel Boll, a glamorous society darling and former cigar girl, is ardent to make the historic flight. Beauty pageant contestant Ruth Elder uses her winnings for flying lessons and becomes the preeminent American girl of the sky.
Inspired by true events and real people, Notaro vividly evokes this exciting time as her determined heroines vie for the record. Through striking photos, meticulous research, and atmospheric prose, Notaro brings Elsie, Mabel, and Ruth to life, pulling us back in time as the pilots collide, struggle, and literally crash in the chase for fame and a place in aviation history.
I had no idea that there were other women flying beside Amelia Earhart. I bet you didn’t either. Three brave women are on a quest to be the first to cross the Atlantic like Lindbergh and this story will have you on the edge of your seat the entire ride. This would make a fabulous movie as well.
Mabel Boll wealthy by birth and even more by marriage, known as the Queen of Diamonds, now wants to be known as the Queen of the Air. She attempts to finagle her way onto a flight with Charles Levine and offered to pay any pilot 100,000 francs to get her across first. This society lady is a hard drinking, free spending gambler that really just wants publicity.
Elsie Mackay, the titled daughter of English aristocracy, is far ahead of most women her age. She eloped with one of the first movie stars and acted herself. When she discovered that her husband didn’t really love her, she came back home, much to the delight of her father who quickly had that marriage annulled. He gave her a job decorating and planning the interiors of luxury ships that he owned. She learned to fly during World War I when she was a nurse at an airfield. Flying was her life but her family wanted her to stay firmly planted on the ground.
Ruth Elder was by far my favorite. She was a feminist before it was readily defined. She entered a beauty contest to pay her way through flight school and her second husband taught her how to fly. She used her looks to actually call out male patriarchy. She was almost the first woman to reach Europe as a pilot but did go on to greater things.
These women were all strong and vivacious. The story really is a bit of a thriller as to who will actually make it to the other side first. There are some heartbreaking moments. Notaro has outdone herself in the research and writing. Yes, you can probably google all of these women to find out their story but when you read this story it just truly brings them to life. This is one of my favorite books of the year. I got super giddy just reading it!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Laurie Notaro was born in Brooklyn, New York, then spent the remainder of her formative years in Phoenix, AZ, where she created something of a checkered past. She is the New York Times best-selling author of the humor memoirs The Idiot Girls Action Adventure Club, Autobiography of a Fat Bride, I Love Everybody and Housebroken, along with numerous others; two humor novels; and Crossing the Horizon, a novel of historical fiction that tells the true story of once famous and now forgotten aviatrices prior to Amelia Earhart that vied to become the first female pilot to cross the Atlantic. She resides in Eugene, Oregon, has a cute dog, a nice husband and misses Mexican food like it was her youth.
Laurie will be on tour:
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