The Spitfire Girls
Three skilled aviators determined to help win the war. Three brave women who know their place is not at home.At the height of World War II, the British Air Transport Auxiliary need help. A group of young women volunteer for action, but the perils of their new job don’t end on the tarmac. Things are tough in the air, but on the ground their abilities as pilots are constantly questioned.There is friction from the start between the new recruits. Spirited American Lizzie turns heads with her audacity, but few can deny her flying skills. She couldn’t be more different from shy, petite Ruby, who is far from diminutive in the sky. It falls to pragmatic pilot May to bring the women together and create a formidable team capable of bringing the aircraft home.As these very different women fight to prove themselves up to the task at hand, they are faced with challenges and tragedies at every turn. They must fight for equal pay and respect while handling aircraft that are dangerously ill-equipped; meanwhile, lives continue to be lost in the tumult of war.Determined to assist the war effort doing what they love, can May, Lizzie and Ruby put aside their differences to overcome adversity, and will they find love in the skies?

The Spitfire Girls Details

TitleThe Spitfire Girls
Author
ReleaseFeb 26th, 2019
PublisherBrilliance Audio
ISBN-139781721356713
Rating
GenreHistorical, Historical Fiction, Fiction, Romance, War, World War II, Womens Fiction, Military Fiction, Adult, Contemporary

The Spitfire Girls Review

  • Erin
    January 1, 1970
    Thanks to Netgalley and Amazon Publishing UK for an e-ARC in exchange for an honest review Focusing on three women- British ATA flyers First Officer Ruby Sanders and Commander May Jones and WASP American pilot Elizabeth (Lizzie) Dunlop, this is a WWII historical that focuses on the contribution of women pilots on both sides of the Atlantic during World War II. These women faced much criticism from their families and countrymen for stepping outside the projected gender roles and yet as revealed Thanks to Netgalley and Amazon Publishing UK for an e-ARC in exchange for an honest review Focusing on three women- British ATA flyers First Officer Ruby Sanders and Commander May Jones and WASP American pilot Elizabeth (Lizzie) Dunlop, this is a WWII historical that focuses on the contribution of women pilots on both sides of the Atlantic during World War II. These women faced much criticism from their families and countrymen for stepping outside the projected gender roles and yet as revealed in the novel, had much better survival rates than the much lauded RAF. Not to mention that they also dealt with inequality in pay and came face to face with sexism on a daily basis. I felt all the characters were relateable, although it took a while for brash American Lizzie to grow on me. I must confess that May was a personal favorite of mine as she had the added challenge of being in a high ranking position and yet found herself often being ignored by her male counterparts and the political figures of the time. An absolute addition to any WWII era library!Publication Date 26/02/19Goodreads Review 16/02/19
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  • DJ Sakata
    January 1, 1970
    Favorite Quotes:Ruby is no sidekick, nor is she relegated to office duties… She might look like a doll –in fact I was told by our doctor that a gust of wind might blow her over –but put her up in the cockpit and she’s got the heart of a lion and the bravery of a team of men.And how in God’s name did you manage to convince a bunch of old men to let women ferry fighter planes? I’ve been petitioning for years – I want to wring all their wrinkly old necks!I’m in some sort of hell. Honestly, I know h Favorite Quotes:Ruby is no sidekick, nor is she relegated to office duties… She might look like a doll –in fact I was told by our doctor that a gust of wind might blow her over –but put her up in the cockpit and she’s got the heart of a lion and the bravery of a team of men.And how in God’s name did you manage to convince a bunch of old men to let women ferry fighter planes? I’ve been petitioning for years – I want to wring all their wrinkly old necks!I’m in some sort of hell. Honestly, I know hospital was bad, but I’d do anything to be back there and not under the same roof as my mother.… she smiled when she saw it was a piece of metal welded into a small circle. ‘I promise I’ll give you a proper ring when the war is over,’ he said, pushing it onto her finger. ‘But for now, this is from the damaged engine of a Spitfire.’We are told as little girls what our expectations should be, and it’s made abundantly clear what our limitations are, but I’m standing here today to tell you that there are no limitations for women, or at least not in the sky. You don’t need to be a burly six-foot man to fly an enormous four-engine bomber, but you do need a brain and single-minded determination. It’s no wonder men feel threatened by us…They used us when they needed us, and now they want to pretend we’re the inferior sex all over again.My Review:I don’t often read historical fiction but I enjoyed this enlightening tale that equally threaded fact with fiction in featuring the adventurous and brave trailblazing women of WWII aviation. I learned so much, proving my mother’s lectures to be incorrect about my perusal of fiction being a waste of time. The storylines were engaging and entertaining with each of the women being given a uniquely flawed personality and individual quirks, some not so endearing as the brash American Lizzie was an arrogant show-boater, she was ambitious and overly endowed with confidence to the point of obnoxious entitlement. I admired her moxie though, and I also appreciated her spirit and drive.Lizzie’s nose was eventually lowered, somewhat painfully, but I admired Ms. Lane’s insightful depiction of all the pilots’ various learning curves. I cannot imagine the pressure they were under and I doubt few people realized the danger they were in as they had no weapons, no instruments, no radios, and no artillery, yet they were delivering bombers and other aircraft in a war zone and flying damaged aircraft back for repair or unserviceable craft to the junkyard - which I would believe to have been the most dangerous missions of all. And they did this in poor weather, for twenty percent less pay, among rampant disrespect from the military and often their own families; and although they were pivotal in winning the war, they were quickly iced once the war was over as they were seen as “taking jobs away from men.” My indignation and ire burn hotly – which is why I don’t often read historical books... These courageous gals became known as the ‘Attagirls,’ I like that, sounds sassy!This was my first experience with Ms. Lane’s words and one I would readily repeat. I found her writing to be easily accessible, engaging, emotive, cleverly amusing, and well-balanced. I noticed two separate listings for her work on Goodreads; one as Soraya M. Lane and one under Soraya Lane, with different types of books on each.
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  • Bill Kupersmith
    January 1, 1970
    I chose this book because it was about the women who flew for the Auxiliary Air Transport service in Britain during the Second World War. I've been fascinated with them since reading Elizabeth Wein's novels Code Name Verity and Rose Under Fire. Ms. Lane's book is a good historical not a great one, and comparing it to Wein's brought out the difference between an acceptable book and a memorable and haunting one. I was curious about the author's background too, with a sense that she was quite at ho I chose this book because it was about the women who flew for the Auxiliary Air Transport service in Britain during the Second World War. I've been fascinated with them since reading Elizabeth Wein's novels Code Name Verity and Rose Under Fire. Ms. Lane's book is a good historical not a great one, and comparing it to Wein's brought out the difference between an acceptable book and a memorable and haunting one. I was curious about the author's background too, with a sense that she was quite at home with neither the English nor the American characters, nor were the settings realised vividly. (For example, May's relationship with Ben, her mechanic surely ought to have involved some class conflict and just what does it feel like to pilot a Halifax, a notorious unpredictable aircraft?) That she should be a Kiwi fits. Some of the language isn't quite right for the period though. Then no one would have referred to a woman pilot’s "gender." ”Brain-washing” dates from the Korean War in the ‘50s. And the dialogue too often felt wooden. We have both conflict and friendship amongst the three principal characters, May, Ruby, and the American Liz there is not the kind of intense tense friendship and extremes of suffering and sacrifice we're offered in Wein's stories. The reader who wants to learn about the ATA and the WASP women pilots will learn a lot - their service cannot ever be celebrated too much - but the love and admiration Wein's characters inspire is at a much higher level.
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  • Kathryn
    January 1, 1970
    This is a novel that shares with us the courageous contribution women made in both England and the USA towards the WW2 endeavours. These women were willing to put their lives on the line and take on piloting planes to where they were needed. And... they were very successful.Soraya M. Lane does an excellent job helping us get inside the lives of such young women. Often they were up against 'the establishment' and the attitudes and prejudices of the populace. Yet despite these niggles these women This is a novel that shares with us the courageous contribution women made in both England and the USA towards the WW2 endeavours. These women were willing to put their lives on the line and take on piloting planes to where they were needed. And... they were very successful.Soraya M. Lane does an excellent job helping us get inside the lives of such young women. Often they were up against 'the establishment' and the attitudes and prejudices of the populace. Yet despite these niggles these women were amazing.The story is told of May who leads the English group, she is asked to take on the task of organising and training. She has heartache of her own - everyone is touched by the war in some way, never to be the same again. Then there is Ruby - a tiny woman who can eventually fly the biggest planes - she too has her own heartaches and worry. Lastly Lizzie the outspoken American who is so confident and ready to voice her opinions on every corner. As the reader I came to love these women, I liked the small details of the drawbacks that women faced flying these planes, and that they overcame with good spirit. I enjoyed the love interests each of them had and that added so much to the story. I especially enjoyed the epilogue - icing on the cake!Informative, inspiring and well worth the read. Yes women can do anything, which reminds me I had the pleasure once of meeting a woman USA astronaut. I think May, Ruby and Lizzie would have been right there if they lived in a different era. However their push for gender equality enabled women of the future to aim high.
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  • Cam
    January 1, 1970
    I started this book thinking .... ooo god please don’t let this be some sappy love story. But it wasn’t .... and I really enjoyed it. This is a historical fiction based upon truth. This is about female pilots during WW2. The struggles they had to over coming during the 1940’s .... coming out the homes and making names for themselves in a male dominated field. Great book! It was fun looking at the documentaries on YouTube.... which is very sexist how it was portrayed , but that was the time perio I started this book thinking .... ooo god please don’t let this be some sappy love story. But it wasn’t .... and I really enjoyed it. This is a historical fiction based upon truth. This is about female pilots during WW2. The struggles they had to over coming during the 1940’s .... coming out the homes and making names for themselves in a male dominated field. Great book! It was fun looking at the documentaries on YouTube.... which is very sexist how it was portrayed , but that was the time period. The pictures on google were great to look up also. There is a movie called Silver Wings that I have to see if I can find it somewhere.
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  • Teresa
    January 1, 1970
    I've read lots of books set in this time so have probably been spoiled for choice. Some research has gone into this book but I felt it needed a lot more to get the story right. It was overly sentimental and soppy. The characters didn't really have great depth. We knew little or nothing about Polly, other than she was a great pilot. I think she was added in for one purpose only (view spoiler)[the author needed someone to kill off with out it being one of the main characters (hide spoiler)]Lizzie I've read lots of books set in this time so have probably been spoiled for choice. Some research has gone into this book but I felt it needed a lot more to get the story right. It was overly sentimental and soppy. The characters didn't really have great depth. We knew little or nothing about Polly, other than she was a great pilot. I think she was added in for one purpose only (view spoiler)[the author needed someone to kill off with out it being one of the main characters (hide spoiler)]Lizzie from the States was completely over the top. She was selfish and boorish and seemed to enjoy being rude, thinking it made her better than men. I actually skimmed the chapters that dealt with her alone. Reading about the ATA and how it was set up was interesting to some extent. Would have liked more information. I seem to be in the minority here with my star rating but that's how the book came across to me. For anyone who likes historical fiction and is interested in the ATA too, read Bluebirds by Margaret Mayhew. A wonderful read.
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  • Sue
    January 1, 1970
    I read a lot of WWII books and it's always great to find one with a different perspective and to learn something new. This novel looks at the war from the view of the British Air Transport Auxiliary . These brave women were pilots who shuttled planes to the bases where they were needed and to free up the male pilots for combat. At the same time, a similar group was being started in the US. These women were faced with discrimination from almost everyone -including the male pilots and often times, I read a lot of WWII books and it's always great to find one with a different perspective and to learn something new. This novel looks at the war from the view of the British Air Transport Auxiliary . These brave women were pilots who shuttled planes to the bases where they were needed and to free up the male pilots for combat. At the same time, a similar group was being started in the US. These women were faced with discrimination from almost everyone -including the male pilots and often times, their own families. They work to fly the planes while they are fighting for respect and equal pay as they try to do their part in helping their county's war efforts.There are three main characters: May, the group commander in England who is fighting demons of her own due to the loss of her brother; May, a petite woman who is engaged to an RAF pilot and Lizzie, an American who went to England to fly with the BATA and learn more about the program so that she could replicate it in the US. All three women bring great flying skills but vastly different personalities to the group. Can they overcome their differences and work together to help aviation in their country during wartime?I definitely enjoyed learning more about what these brave women did during WWII and how they showed their countries what they could accomplish. This is an enjoyable book that will teach readers more about women's roles during the 40s. I highly recommend it.Thanks to the author for a copy of this book to read and review. All opinions are my own.
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  • Natasha Niezgoda
    January 1, 1970
    Bummer... Not What I Was Expecting!Synopsis: In the midst of WWII, several brave, young women volunteered to ferry fighter and bomber planes between military bases. These women are known as the ATA Girls (Air Transport Auxiliary). Their participation set a new precedent for women’s equality and involvement in military operations. ‘The Spitfire Girls’ primarily follows the stories of Lizzie, May, and Ruby as they take to the sky and set new equality standards.Review: Let me start with the fact th Bummer... Not What I Was Expecting!Synopsis: In the midst of WWII, several brave, young women volunteered to ferry fighter and bomber planes between military bases. These women are known as the ATA Girls (Air Transport Auxiliary). Their participation set a new precedent for women’s equality and involvement in military operations. ‘The Spitfire Girls’ primarily follows the stories of Lizzie, May, and Ruby as they take to the sky and set new equality standards.Review: Let me start with the fact that Soraya Lane is a terrific author and her writing style is incredibly conversational, which I gravitate toward. Her ideas are very clear which makes following along with the story a breeze. And she handled multiple protagonist perspectives well.Now, I wanted to love this story. The initial plot was super intriguing (referring to meeting the president) and actually encouraged me to do a lot of research into the women of the ATA. But story focused less on women making a mark and more on egoism and romance.I would say that 50% of the dialogue within the book revolved around Lizzie being petty. That kinda soured the experience for me. I don’t mind a rivalry, but to dominate the plot was a little overwhelming. I wish there was a bit more character development so that Lizzie’s incessant need to win had a backstory. I also wish that some of the predictability related to gender roles was toned down. And I think that’s why the romance was a little off-putting for me, because I anticipated this to be about women empowerment and, yet, still a man was pivotal to prop them up (specifically May and Ruby).I would recommend this to anyone looking for a historical romance, easy read. It perfectly fits that ticket. I just went in with different expectations based on the premise. It's not for seasoned historical fiction readers, unfortunately. Thank you, Net Gallery for this copy in exchange for an honest review!
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  • Ann Creel
    January 1, 1970
    Historical Fiction you will loveThis story is based on the historical British flyers known as "the Spitfire Girls" during World War II. Not only did I learn a great deal about those heroic women, I fell in love with the three distinct and original characters featured in the novel. There will be no confusion about who's who in this book, because author Soraya M. Lane has given each of the women a very different and rich inner life, relationships, and problems. And in Lizzie, she has created one o Historical Fiction you will loveThis story is based on the historical British flyers known as "the Spitfire Girls" during World War II. Not only did I learn a great deal about those heroic women, I fell in love with the three distinct and original characters featured in the novel. There will be no confusion about who's who in this book, because author Soraya M. Lane has given each of the women a very different and rich inner life, relationships, and problems. And in Lizzie, she has created one of the most unique and unexpected heroines that I've ever enjoyed getting to know in a book. Each young woman triumphs in her own way, and you will not be disappointed by this well-written book.
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  • Danika
    January 1, 1970
    The Spitfire Girls is to be published next month, and I was fortunate enough to receive a free copy through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. You can read my full review here .This novel’s summary and general premise is intriguing, both as a feminist and as someone who finds World War II stories to be both interesting and important. That being said, I was expecting to enjoy this work.Unfortunately, I didn’t. And when glancing at the other reviews here, I seem to be in the minority.As j The Spitfire Girls is to be published next month, and I was fortunate enough to receive a free copy through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. You can read my full review here .This novel’s summary and general premise is intriguing, both as a feminist and as someone who finds World War II stories to be both interesting and important. That being said, I was expecting to enjoy this work.Unfortunately, I didn’t. And when glancing at the other reviews here, I seem to be in the minority.As just discussed, the premise is wonderful – women pilots helping to ferry planes to allied forces during the war. The execution, however, fell flat. The story begins with a young woman named Lizzie who is reading a letter she wrote, addressed to First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, arguing for the inclusion of women in the war effort – specifically in the capacity of aircraft ferrier. What could be more timely? In this seemingly new age of renewed feminism, it is easy to see how this story should resonate with readers. But, in my humble opinion, it doesn’t. Why might that be?Let’s explore.That first chapter begins with a gusto. We begin smack dab in the middle of Lizzie’s letter-writing campaign. I was struck by how childish she seemed to be – it wasn’t until she spoke of her piloting experience that I actually realized that she is supposed to be a grown woman. Then, without much ado, she is invited to meet with the President, the First Lady, and a military General. At this meeting, she learns that the only reason they agreed to the meeting in the first place was because of Lizzie’s father’s own decorated military history and fame. Lizzie finds this surprising, and her surprise, quite frankly, bothers me. This is a woman who wants to train a squadron for non-active military service and is petitioning for the inclusion of women in a traditionally all-male realm, yet she is unbelievably naive. Add to that is the author’s need to emphasize how utterly feminine Lizzie is in a very stereotypical, traditional sense, aside from her love of flying and her feminist bent. Now, I do not mean to imply that one cannot be a feminist while being traditionally feminine. But the author’s over-the-top insistence reads as a sort of apology, a softening of feminism so it doesn’t offend. Who is she trying to placate? People in general? Her readers? Men? Herself? Further, Lizzie’s impulsiveness and her diarrhea of the mouth in the presence of President Franklin D. Roosevelt serve to uphold the gender stereotypes that woman are too impulsive (read: either driven by emotions or intellectually deficient) and silly, which is completely anathema to the book’s purpose.The second chapter involves Ruby, a young woman who is trying to plan her wedding while her fiance is on active duty, and her soon-to-be mother-in-law, as they discuss wedding dresses, cake, and other such details. Halfway through the scene, Ruby’s mother suddenly begins to speak, ostensibly there the entire time, but unmentioned. Now, she was obviously an afterthought and this will likely be fixed in the corrected proof, but even so. As it stands, her mother serves no particular purpose to the scene. In the following chapter, Ruby has signed up for service and is having her medical exam, which involves complete nudity (just as it does for men). While I have no issue with Ruby’s general discomfort about the necessity of being naked in front of the medic, the author offers that Ruby felt as though the doctor required her nudity simply for his own enjoyment but offers nothing beyond that. No awkwardness, no inappropriate comments, staring, or touching, nothing. This sparks of melodrama and trying to play on contemporary public sentiment regarding men in positions of authority taking advantage of women. If the authors wants to add this facet to her novel, fine. But it should be done with more than a simple, baseless accusation – we need at least something more than a general impression without a single example.In the third chapter, Lizzie is crossing the Atlantic ocean in order to train with the British women’s squadron. The chapter commences with Lizzie’s description of the plentiful and delicious food, wine, and cocktails. Now, while it is true that service members were allotted more food during the war, rationing was still a thing! It seems very unlikely that there would be such bounty, particularly on a ship bound for England. At the time, Germany was exerting significant effort into destroying ships bound for the UK because the Brits needed to import well over HALF of their food supply. It seems irresponsible (and thus unbelievable) that such bounty would be risked on a ship delivering people – enough to feed everyone adequately, sure! But enough for what was described? Absolutely not. At best, this is lazy writing and indicates that the author preferred to make erroneous assumptions rather than spend valuable time researching. Secondly, when they finally make land, Lizzie decides to joke loudly with the servicewomen who come to meet her, ignoring the pamphlet she read an hour ago. Her reaction their apparent lack of humour was off-putting – these Englishwomen, along with the rest of their countrymen, have already been at war for 3 years. Years of rationing, death, destruction. And Lizzie is upset that they’re having trouble taking a joke. She behaves in such a way as to confirm the international stereotype of American behaviour, yet the author feels that we should sympathize with her instead of the others? When they meet up for dinner later, Lizzie continues to be disrespectful, flippant, and irritating. Being confident of your abilities is one thing, but being a braggart is another, and Lizzie can’t seem to stop touting herself left and right. And then she proceeds to insult the subordinate officer because she figures she looks too small and delicate to be a pilot. This, coming from a woman who complains about sexism. Ha!I had stopped being offended after this for quite some time, that is, until the beginning of chapter 13. Ruby is the first woman to fly a bomber (amazing!), but the effect is completely ruined when the author has her touching up her make-up in the sky. This is, frankly, obscene. People have died making this trip, and Ruby is sacrificing a lot to be the first woman to do it in a bomber – possibly her romantic future, possibly her flying career, possibly her own life, and we’re supposed to believe that she would risk all of that to powder her nose and touch up her lipstick?! My God! After 12 hours straight in economy class without the looming risk of being shot out of the sky, even I am not that vain and I’m a daily makeup user. It’s a bit much.Later, Lizzie is finally called to task and humbled after showing off – and subsequently losing as a result – during a flying competition to see who, between her and Ruby, would earn the honour of being the first woman bomber pilot. She makes an extraordinary public spectacle of herself with her ego overtaking whatever limited sense she has. After being suitably humbled, she suddenly becomes a much softer person. Oh boy. Can people change? Absolutely! That quickly? Nope. It’s too much, too fast. It’s just not believable. Additionally, if a man behaved thus, even in wartime, he would have been discharged dishonourably because loose cannons like Lizzie can’t be relied upon.Lane’s characters are underdeveloped and lack nuance or are simply there to be there. Lizzie, Ruby, and Montgomery are described such that they come across as caricatures of their archetypes. The supporting characters are bland and largely useless – Ben helps and loves May, but he seems to have to real personality. Polly is everyone’s friend but isn’t really part of the story and (spoiler alert!) her sole purpose seems to be to serve as someone that the characters can lose as a consequence of war. We as readers feel for those who lost her, but we feel nothing when we hear of her death because the author never makes us care for her.This book wasn’t terrible. But it also wasn’t good. The true, inspiring story portrayed in this fictionalized account was overshadowed by the superficiality of the writing. The bones are good – the general story is there, the historical and contemporary importance are there, but this novel reads more like a “this happened then this happened then this happened” list of details rather than a heartrending, rousing piece on why women deserve equal standing with men and why these women (or their true historical counterparts) deserve to be remembered.
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  • Dawn Wells
    January 1, 1970
    Fabulous book, well written and worth every word. Love reading about the female pilots and the sacrifices they all made in WWII, it’s so amazing all the ways women have worked to build our country and others.
  • Renee
    January 1, 1970
    Loved it! My favorite kind of story—adventure, romance, brave heroines, big-hearted heroes, WWII era, a story that celebrates sacrifice, nobleness, kindness & character. So, so good!
  • Julia
    January 1, 1970
    Soraya Lane's most recent book tells the story of three women pilots in World War II. Ferrying spitfires and other types of aircraft, May, Ruby, Lizzie, and all the other female flyers allowed for more men to fight. But they were met with resistance along the way, as they fought to prove themselves and to gain respect (and equal pay).I liked that Lane brought this side of WWII history to life, but her book wasn't particularly well written. The characters didn't have much depth: you had the feist Soraya Lane's most recent book tells the story of three women pilots in World War II. Ferrying spitfires and other types of aircraft, May, Ruby, Lizzie, and all the other female flyers allowed for more men to fight. But they were met with resistance along the way, as they fought to prove themselves and to gain respect (and equal pay).I liked that Lane brought this side of WWII history to life, but her book wasn't particularly well written. The characters didn't have much depth: you had the feisty and cocky American, the quiet, confident leader trying to overcome a tremendous loss, and the dutiful bombshell. The secondary characters lacked even more depth. In a nutshell, the story was a bit superficial and forgettable. More gifted and nimble writers, like Jennifer Robson or Aimie K. Runyan, would have added more nuance and meaning to this story.
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  • Kristina
    January 1, 1970
    Not what I expected. It turned out to be a historical romance. Well-written, good characters and interesting information about female pilThe Spitfire Girls by Soraya M. Lane has readers traveling back to World War II. May Jones along with Ruby Sanders are members of the British Air Transport Auxiliary. These courageous women ferry new and repaired planes without radios or instruments for the Royal Air Force. Lizzie Dunlop has been trying to get the United States to implement a similar program wi Not what I expected. It turned out to be a historical romance. Well-written, good characters and interesting information about female pilThe Spitfire Girls by Soraya M. Lane has readers traveling back to World War II. May Jones along with Ruby Sanders are members of the British Air Transport Auxiliary. These courageous women ferry new and repaired planes without radios or instruments for the Royal Air Force. Lizzie Dunlop has been trying to get the United States to implement a similar program without success. General Henry Arnold needs convincing and suggests Lizzie volunteer for the ATA to get experience. Lizzie is a confident and brash woman who is not afraid to speak her mind. She knows she is an excellent pilot, but Lizzie is not a team player. Lizzie attitude tends to rub the other pilots the wrong away along with her competitive spirit. As commander, it falls to May to get these talented female pilots to work together. These women must continually fight for fair treatment and respect from their male counterparts while dealing with losses and being away from their loved ones. Will these women succeed in their missions?I like that The Spitfire Girls shows the role of female pilots in England and America during World War II. I enjoyed learning more about the WASPs and ATA. I thought the author accurately portrayed how women were treated during this time period. The powers that be may not have wanted the women’s help, but they needed their assistance (I can just imagine the discussions that took place). Of course, once the war was over, females were soon ousted from their wartime positions. May Jones was a strong female character with a hard exterior. She kept her emotions in check while fighting for the women in her command. It was hard for May to show weakness and open up to someone. Ruby Sanders is the petite beauty who lacks confidence. She is engaged to Tom who is under his society mother’s thumb and feels that women belong at home. Ruby is a good flyer, but she needs to believe in herself. Lizzie Dunlop is a talented flyer and lets people know it. She is big, bold and brash (from Texas). Lizzie feels that flyers are on their own in the sky and does not understand the team mentality. Each woman has a different issue that they need to overcome. I thought the characters lacked depth. Each lady finds the right man for her and they fall in love. The story played out in a predictable manner. The pace was steady in the first half and slowed down considerably in the second. I liked the author’s note at the end which provided additional information on the WASPs, ATA and female pilots from WWII. I can tell the author did her research for The Spitfire Girls. However, I wanted more depth, realism and emotion. Readers who take pleasure in reading light, historical romance novels will appreciate The Spitfire Girls.ots during WWII.
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  • Helen
    January 1, 1970
    I loved this story from start to finish, there were tears, there were smiles and there were so many emotions throughout this book, as we get to meet three of the strongest woman, pilots living in a man’s world, but they could help with the war efforts, by working with The British Air Transport Auxiliary, ATA and getting planes to where they were needed. This is a book that I didn’t want to put down so ensure you have some time when you pick this one up, sit back and meet May, Ruby and Lizzy.May I loved this story from start to finish, there were tears, there were smiles and there were so many emotions throughout this book, as we get to meet three of the strongest woman, pilots living in a man’s world, but they could help with the war efforts, by working with The British Air Transport Auxiliary, ATA and getting planes to where they were needed. This is a book that I didn’t want to put down so ensure you have some time when you pick this one up, sit back and meet May, Ruby and Lizzy.May and her brother are both pilots, her brother has gone off to war and was shot down and May is missing him terribly, but she knows that she can help as well and is soon made commander of the woman that are joining up to help, she is strong but vulnerable as well and does everything to keep her pilots safe. Ben the mechanic is always there for her. Ruby is engaged to Tom who is off fighting in the war he too is a pilot and Ruby although little in stature she is determined to help where she can, she joins up and soon her and May are fast friends, Ruby is flying Tiger Moths, Spitfires and training in a big bomber.Lizzie is American and one very confident pilot, she arrives in England to learn what she can before going back home to command her own group of woman transport pilots. She has a few lessons to learn about attitude as well and American Jackson helps a lot with that.Although these three woman are very different in personalities they are all competent pilots and flying means so much to them, and they fly under harsh conditions in the air with planes that are sometimes damaged and with the risk of being shot down by the enemy and then on the ground they have to fight for equal pay and respect, to prove that they can fly a plane no matter the size, determination is what they have in spades.This really is an amazingly beautiful story, May, Ruby and Lizzie become the best of friends as they go through some very emotional times, with their personal lives as well as coping with the flying, they all have personal issues that need to be sorted and they each have a man to lean on, their journey to HEA’s were tough with a war going on but they got there and I felt so close to these woman, they came to life and I was transported back to the era. Thank you MS Lane this is a fabulous story that I highly recommend.
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  • Dana
    January 1, 1970
    I am a huge fan of WWII books/stories; when I was given the opportunity to read The Spitfire Girls, I jumped at the chance.I have been a fan of Ms. Lane's contemporary work for many years and knew that when I saw that she was going to start a historical fictions series/books, I had to read them and I have not been disappointed. It is interesting to me to "see" how women were treated/portrayed in history; it was fantastic to read a book about women who were ahead of their times and were determine I am a huge fan of WWII books/stories; when I was given the opportunity to read The Spitfire Girls, I jumped at the chance.I have been a fan of Ms. Lane's contemporary work for many years and knew that when I saw that she was going to start a historical fictions series/books, I had to read them and I have not been disappointed. It is interesting to me to "see" how women were treated/portrayed in history; it was fantastic to read a book about women who were ahead of their times and were determined to stand for what they believed in and wanted.I thoroughly enjoyed The Spitfire Girls and have recommended it to many of my friends.
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  • Sheila
    January 1, 1970
    Too sugary for me. Shallow, spoilt rich ATA girls competing against each other on their prowess at flying an aeroplane as male dogsbodies for the RAF. No depth or substance. Predictable. Put it aside.
  • Jim
    January 1, 1970
    Soraya M Lane has written a wonderful piece of World War 2 historical fiction about a group of skilled and determined women pilots on both sides of the Atlantic whose contribution to the Allied war effort eventually gained the recognition they so richly deserved as they became critical ferry pilots during that war. The Spitfire Girls (2019, Lake Union Publishing) is a wonderfully inspirational piece of literature with strong characters both female as well as male who are based on real life perso Soraya M Lane has written a wonderful piece of World War 2 historical fiction about a group of skilled and determined women pilots on both sides of the Atlantic whose contribution to the Allied war effort eventually gained the recognition they so richly deserved as they became critical ferry pilots during that war. The Spitfire Girls (2019, Lake Union Publishing) is a wonderfully inspirational piece of literature with strong characters both female as well as male who are based on real life persons who supported the war effort in a unique and critical way.The setting of the story is primarily set in wartime England though it begins in 1940 Texas with the introduction of one the main characters Lizzie Dunlop, an American civilian pilot determined to bring women into the war, when it comes, and prove their skills as pilots. Her introduction is closely followed by the introduction of the other main character in England, May Jones, who was a pilot of the British Air Transport Auxiliary, a civilian group dedicated to ferrying new and damage British military aircraft. When Dunlop and Jones meet, the sparks fly as two strong women, both accomplished pilots, conflict over rules and regulations and who will be the first to fly one of the heavy four engine bombers. as well as proving that women can fly military aircraft.The Spitfire Girls is well written with great characters such as May and Lizzie as well as the self-depreciating Ruby. The tensions and dynamics of people in wartime leadership and service are also a key part of the novel’s narrative and this reviewer believes that the author does a very good job at chronicling the tensions that were (and are) part of the psychological and mental strain of war.I liked this book for both the subject matter (I am a life-long aviation fan), but also because I believe that Lane writes with an emotional impact in a manner which captures both the pressure and tragedy of war in women as well as men.I believe that The Spitfire Girls is a good piece of literature which highlights the historical impact women made over seven decades ago during a terrible time in human history. This novel would be a great addition to classes studying the contribution of women as well has military history.
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  • Sharlene
    January 1, 1970
    War genre fiction is a favorite of mine and I certainly enjoy a book that educates me on a new aspect as to how women served during the war. A very good historical fiction.
  • Karen Trosterud
    January 1, 1970
    I adored this book! I laughed I cried and I cheered them on!, A must read for historical fans!
  • Susan
    January 1, 1970
    This is a fantastic book that hooked me from the first pages and kept me enthralled to the very end. Based on historical events and people, this is the story of a group of women and their critical contribution to the war effort. With every male pilot needed to fly combat missions, the Air Transport Auxiliary desperately needed pilots to ferry new planes to the front and damaged ones back to be repaired. A group of very determined young women fought the odds and made a place for themselves as tho This is a fantastic book that hooked me from the first pages and kept me enthralled to the very end. Based on historical events and people, this is the story of a group of women and their critical contribution to the war effort. With every male pilot needed to fly combat missions, the Air Transport Auxiliary desperately needed pilots to ferry new planes to the front and damaged ones back to be repaired. A group of very determined young women fought the odds and made a place for themselves as those pilots. This story is told from the point of view of three of those pilots.May is the pilot who has been with the ATA the longest and is the commander of the women's unit. Flying was something that she and her brother Johnny did together. She was furious when he went off to war, leaving her behind. His death left her reeling with grief and guilt and an increased need to do something for the war effort. She is practical and clear-headed and excels at bringing out the best in the women she works with. There were some terrific scenes that demonstrated those abilities and highlighted the diversity of the personalities she had to deal with. She keeps her emotions in check and focuses on her work. I loved her care for her "girls" as she called them and her determination that they get the respect they deserve.Ruby is a pretty and petite young woman whose love of flying is right up there with her love for her pilot fiancé. They flew together until he left to fly for the RAF. She was stuck at home, growing more frustrated by her desire to do something more important than keeping the home fires burning. The ATA was just what she needed, but she had an uphill battle to achieve that goal. Her future mother-in-law was vociferous in her disapproval, and even her fiancé was not supportive. I wanted to shake Tom because of the letters he wrote to Ruby, letters that did terrible things to her self-confidence. I loved May's confidence in Ruby and her efforts to show Ruby what she was capable of. Ruby's journey was an inspiration to read.Lizzie was the American sent to Britain to learn about the ATA and bring that information home to America. She was a no-holds-barred woman when it came to going after what she wanted. She was raised on her father's tales of his efforts during World War One and a belief that she could do anything she put her mind to. I liked her determination at the beginning as she worked to make her dream of the American equivalent of the ATA come true. But she lost some of my admiration after she arrived in Britain and became the model for the Ugly American. Her extreme competitiveness, disregard for the rules, and general rudeness made it very difficult to like her. It took the efforts of multiple people before Lizzie was able to see that the ATA's strength was in their teamwork, not in the hands of individuals. Once she saw the light, the change in her was amazing, and there were few limits to what she could do. She had quite the challenge when she took what she learned back to America.The book takes place between 1940 and 1946 and chronicles the joys and challenges of the work the "Spitfire Girls" accomplished. I felt their frustration at the lack of respect they received from their male counterparts, and how they had to work so much harder to prove themselves. I loved learning about the training they received, and how they excelled under incredible handicaps, such as being forced to fly without the use of instruments and radios, putting them in unthinkable danger. I loved seeing them shock the male pilots and ground crews regularly. I especially loved the scene where Ruby delivered the four-engine bomber, the men's disbelief that one tiny woman flew a plane (perfectly) that took a flight crew of four men to fly. I really liked how the women developed into a sisterhood that always had each other's backs. I ached for their losses and cheered their victories.There was also a touch of romance in the book. Ruby had her relationship with her fiancé challenged by her work with the ATA. I loved her determination to follow her dream and ached for the pain he caused her. I cheered at the surprise waiting for her at the end of one flight. It was so much fun seeing the change in Tom's attitude when he realized the truth. Their challenges continued thanks to the war, but their faith in each other and their love pulled them through. Neither May nor Lizzie had been looking for love, but it found them anyway. May had closed herself off to the thought of love, wanting to protect herself from more loss. I loved how friendship and support from an unexpected source slowly grew into deeper feelings. Then there was Lizzie. The sparks flew between her and a certain Captain, but it took her a long time to realize there was more than antagonism there. I enjoyed seeing that relationship develop, especially with Lizzie's frequently volatile reactions to him on the job.I loved the ending of the book. There was a wonderful surprise that Ben and Tom had cooked up for May and Ruby about a year after the war ended. I loved their teasing and how pleased they were with themselves. This was followed by a grand epilogue that took place at the sixty-fourth anniversary of V-J day. I loved seeing May, Lizzie, and Ruby together at the place that had been such a big part of their lives. I loved the part with Ruby, her grandson, and the Spitfire. I enjoyed her surprise, and loved the twist she added to it.
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  • Bambi Rathman
    January 1, 1970
    "The perfect ladies' plane, that's what they used to call the Spitfire..." I love historical fiction and especially when I learn something new from it. I certainly did reading this book. This novel took me on a journey of the development and organization of the "Spitfire Girls" along with the main characters, Lizzie, May and Ruby. It's the personal stories of each one and the common love they have in flying. They each have a desire to serve their countries in the war efforts by using their gift "The perfect ladies' plane, that's what they used to call the Spitfire..." I love historical fiction and especially when I learn something new from it. I certainly did reading this book. This novel took me on a journey of the development and organization of the "Spitfire Girls" along with the main characters, Lizzie, May and Ruby. It's the personal stories of each one and the common love they have in flying. They each have a desire to serve their countries in the war efforts by using their gift of skillful flying. Lizzie has a yearning to develop a women's flying team but the American forces aren't ready for women to become fliers so she travels to England and joins the women there. After some tension between her and the other women, they become a team and form friendships that span the ocean. There are bonds in the common interest of the love of flying and to help towards winning the war. Lizzie had to learn to let go of personal gains and become a member of the sistership in the single mission they were all destined to complete. Ferrying planes. These women believed in themselves and the ability they had to serve their countries. Ms. Lane wove a beautiful story around true facts that happened to real women. It's the story of painful losses and learning to believe in hope and love. Letting go of the past pain and grabbing the future. Persevering through thick and thin. From the unbelievable agony of losses almost too much to bear to the highest of highs of finding true love in the least expected way. Of flying high. I had tears for the pain and joy for the characters as the story was told. I am in awe of the fortitude that these women had. To overcome obstacles and show that women are capable of mighty things. This passage that Ms. Lane wrote spoke to me so much:"We are told as little girls what our expectations should be, and it's made abundantly clear what our limitations are, but I'm standing here today to tell you that there are no limitations for women, or at least not in the sky. You don't need to be a burly six-foot man to fly an enormous four-engine bomber, but you do need a brain and a single-minded determination."The Author's Note at the end of the book is wonderful. I was stunned at the statistics she included and how much these women made a difference in the war efforts.I want to thank Lake Union, Netgalley and Ms. Lane for the honor of reading this great book. I highly recommend it. A fantastic read!
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  • Liralen
    January 1, 1970
    1) I'm pretty sure people in the 1940s didn't casually throw the terms 'gender roles' and 'gender stereotypes' around.2) Also pretty sure that telegrams were meant to be short, and something like this would be impractically, and more to the point expensively, long:PLEASE INFORM RUBY SANDERS THAT HER FIANCE, FLIGHT LIEUTENANT THOMAS FRANCES, IS ALIVE. SURVIVED IMPOSSIBLE CONDITIONS AFTER DEPLOYING PARACHUTE. INJURIES INCLUDE BROKEN ARM, CRACKED RIBS, LEG TRAUMA AND BLEEDING FROM HEAD. FULL RECOVE 1) I'm pretty sure people in the 1940s didn't casually throw the terms 'gender roles' and 'gender stereotypes' around.2) Also pretty sure that telegrams were meant to be short, and something like this would be impractically, and more to the point expensively, long:PLEASE INFORM RUBY SANDERS THAT HER FIANCE, FLIGHT LIEUTENANT THOMAS FRANCES, IS ALIVE. SURVIVED IMPOSSIBLE CONDITIONS AFTER DEPLOYING PARACHUTE. INJURIES INCLUDE BROKEN ARM, CRACKED RIBS, LEG TRAUMA AND BLEEDING FROM HEAD. FULL RECOVERY EXPECTED. (210)Do we really think the military is going to go to extra expense when the following would suffice?ATTN RUBY SANDERS STOP FLT LT THOMAS FRANCES ALIVE STOP FULL RECOVERY EXPECTED STOPDone. More details could follow via a cheaper/slower form of communication, no? Throw a 'LETTER TO FOLLOW' line in if you like. It's still much shorter/cheaper than the behemoth of a telegram the book offers.3) Does this review have a point? No. A brief one, then: it's a sweet enough story that is very heavy on romance and a lot lighter on depth. Lizzie is...not great...and any conflict that doesn't revolve around Lizzie being a tremendous brat comes down to romance. There's a Big Moment involving seeing a Luftwaffe plane, and...it's resolved in under a page while the romance goes on, and on, and on.Ah well. I can always reread Code Name Verity.
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  • Lisa Hudson
    January 1, 1970
    ENLIGHTENING & INSPIRING!This is the story of three women that decided they could not stand by and see their flying skills go to waste during WWII. They did the unthinkable and left the safety of their families and one left behind her homeland. They all volunteered to help ferry planes for the British Air Transport Auxiliary thereby freeing male pilots to fly in “risky combat situations.” May is the Senior Commander and takes her role very seriously as she knows the pilot’s lives are her res ENLIGHTENING & INSPIRING!This is the story of three women that decided they could not stand by and see their flying skills go to waste during WWII. They did the unthinkable and left the safety of their families and one left behind her homeland. They all volunteered to help ferry planes for the British Air Transport Auxiliary thereby freeing male pilots to fly in “risky combat situations.” May is the Senior Commander and takes her role very seriously as she knows the pilot’s lives are her responsibility. Ruby is small in stature (she has to sit on a cushion when she flies!) but she has the heart of a lion and nerves of steel. Lizzie blows in like a storm from the USA and is ready to show her superiority to everyone. While they are all so very different, each of them is fighting their own set of demons while also fighting to prove their worth as pilots and prove something to themselves. These girls had vast experience in flying many types of planes. But one thing they were required to do that their male counterparts did not was they had to fly with NO INSTRUMENTS and NO RADIOS. Can you imagine flying through enemy territory under those conditions? Of course, they proved they could that, too. Soon they were to be tasked with flying four-engine bombers that normally had a crew of four men. But they would fly all alone and with no instruments and no radio and straight through war zones! In spite of this, they had a unbelievably low casualty rate. These girls were definitely made of something special! Be sure not to skip the Epilogue!I was provided an ARC of this book by Lake Union Publishers and NetGalley. The opinions expressed here are completely my own and without influence.
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  • Pat
    January 1, 1970
    I enjoy reading historical fiction stories about WWII, especially the women’s roles. Ms. Lane has a fascinating way of telling her stories, that not only makes them very enjoyable reads, but I find myself learning something from each book. Spitfire girls follows three women, two from England and one from the US. Elizabeth Dunlap is the feisty outspoken American, who would rather fly than breathe. Sent to England to co-train with a squadron of female pilots ferrying planes to different locations I enjoy reading historical fiction stories about WWII, especially the women’s roles. Ms. Lane has a fascinating way of telling her stories, that not only makes them very enjoyable reads, but I find myself learning something from each book. Spitfire girls follows three women, two from England and one from the US. Elizabeth Dunlap is the feisty outspoken American, who would rather fly than breathe. Sent to England to co-train with a squadron of female pilots ferrying planes to different locations and picking up planes that need repair and returning them to their base. The flights are very dangerous, they have no instruments, no radio and essentially the pilots are flying on gut instinct. But, they love every minute. Lizzie returns to the states to lead an American version, and their called WASPS. These women are essential to the war effort, although a lot of male pilots disagree.Although their efforts are praised, when the war is almost over, the women pilots squadron are disbanded because their are more male pilots ready and available. These are the brave and determined women who pushed to have women represented in all aspects of flying today. Very enjoyable read.
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  • Linda Zagon
    January 1, 1970
    Linda’s Book Obsession Reviews “The Spitfire Girls” by Soraya M Lane, February 2019Soraya M Lane, Author of “The Spitfire Girls” has written a captivating, enthralling, intriguing and entertaining novel. The Genres for this book are Fiction, Women’s Fiction and Historical Fiction. The time-line for this novel is World War Two. The author describes her colorful cast of characters as complex, competitive and complicated.Lizzie has been a pilot in the United States, and writes to Mrs. Roosevelt to Linda’s Book Obsession Reviews “The Spitfire Girls” by Soraya M Lane, February 2019Soraya M Lane, Author of “The Spitfire Girls” has written a captivating, enthralling, intriguing and entertaining novel. The Genres for this book are Fiction, Women’s Fiction and Historical Fiction. The time-line for this novel is World War Two. The author describes her colorful cast of characters as complex, competitive and complicated.Lizzie has been a pilot in the United States, and writes to Mrs. Roosevelt to ask if women can be pilots and fly during the war. She is informed that there is a program in England. Lizzie meets May and Ruby, two of the best pilots in England. At first there is competition and adversity between the American and English women pilots. There is the threat of German Airstrikes. The women are flying the planes blindly.I appreciate that the author discusses the importance of friendship, sisterhood, family , love and hope. These are brave and devoted women who serve their countries, at less pay than the men that do the same thing. These women are fighting for their rights and lives. I would highly recommend this amazing story for those readers who enjoy World War Two fiction and history. I received an ARC from NetGalley for my honest review.
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  • Boundless Book Reviews
    January 1, 1970
    I'm sure you have heard the saying "Anything boys can do, girls can do better." Well, that quote is quite close to what this story portrays. A brave young group of women decides that in World War 2 that they can fly planes just as well as the men and help in the war effort. This book shows the brave women who fight danger and ridicule around every turn to help out. In most stories you see of the war, you see that women stay close to home, or they are nurses, but this book shows the brave of the I'm sure you have heard the saying "Anything boys can do, girls can do better." Well, that quote is quite close to what this story portrays. A brave young group of women decides that in World War 2 that they can fly planes just as well as the men and help in the war effort. This book shows the brave women who fight danger and ridicule around every turn to help out. In most stories you see of the war, you see that women stay close to home, or they are nurses, but this book shows the brave of the brave: the ones not tucked away at home or in a hospital, but the ones that are tucked away in an airplane cockpit.So far I have read each one of Soraya Lane's books, and each one is better than the last. They are full of history, touches of romance, danger, and most feature brave women that go above and beyond the norm for that time period. I absolutely loved this story. The characters are rich and detailed and so easy to love. The story is written in such a way that you can't help but be captivated.This is a story that I will tell any lover of historical fiction about. The ending was just awesome! I think I even let out a "You go, girl"! This story was just, and I loved every minute.http://www.boundlessbookreviews.comhttps://www.facebook.com/BBReviews
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  • Jenny Waterman
    January 1, 1970
    This historical fiction novel introduces us to three brave young women committed to doing their part for the war effort. I had never heard of the women’s British Air Transport Auxillary and its American plane ferrying counterpart. The fearlessness of these women flying planes in hazardous conditions with no instruments and no radio contact was monumental in supplying fresh aircraft to the front lines and removing ailing aircraft for repair. Set amidst personal competition, loss and triumph our h This historical fiction novel introduces us to three brave young women committed to doing their part for the war effort. I had never heard of the women’s British Air Transport Auxillary and its American plane ferrying counterpart. The fearlessness of these women flying planes in hazardous conditions with no instruments and no radio contact was monumental in supplying fresh aircraft to the front lines and removing ailing aircraft for repair. Set amidst personal competition, loss and triumph our heroines May, Ruby and Lizzie bring a personal narrative to this bit of forgotten history. I enjoyed Ms Lanes writing style and voice. I would highly recommend this book. I received an ARC of this book, all opinions are my own.
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  • Sarah
    January 1, 1970
    I loved this book. I'm a sucker for most historical fiction but when you combine strong women fighting against gender stereotypes, I'm definitely in. This novel follows 3 women, who fight for the right to fly warplanes during WWII. They have to overcome gender bias, lower pay, and even the fact that they fly without instruments or radios! They demonstrate how important they are to the war effort and the fact that women can do anything men can do. I found it refreshing that the story didn't solel I loved this book. I'm a sucker for most historical fiction but when you combine strong women fighting against gender stereotypes, I'm definitely in. This novel follows 3 women, who fight for the right to fly warplanes during WWII. They have to overcome gender bias, lower pay, and even the fact that they fly without instruments or radios! They demonstrate how important they are to the war effort and the fact that women can do anything men can do. I found it refreshing that the story didn't solely focus on romance. While there are definite sparks flying, (pun intended) the story is more about friendship, resilience, and the pursuit of your dreams. It was well written and I honestly could not put this down. Fans of historical fiction will love this one. Thanks to NetGalley for providing and ARC for review.
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  • A.BookNerd.Bookseller&Bibliophile.Blog
    January 1, 1970
    I am a huge fan of WWII books/stories; when I was given the opportunity to read The Spitfire Girls, I jumped at the chance.I have been a fan of Ms. Lane's contemporary work for many years and knew that when I saw that she was going to start a historical fictions series/books, I had to read them and I have not been disappointed. It is interesting to me to "see" how women were treated/portrayed in history; it was fantastic to read a book about women who were ahead of their times and were determine I am a huge fan of WWII books/stories; when I was given the opportunity to read The Spitfire Girls, I jumped at the chance.I have been a fan of Ms. Lane's contemporary work for many years and knew that when I saw that she was going to start a historical fictions series/books, I had to read them and I have not been disappointed. It is interesting to me to "see" how women were treated/portrayed in history; it was fantastic to read a book about women who were ahead of their times and were determined to stand for what they believed in and wanted.I thoroughly enjoyed The Spitfire Girls and have recommended it to many of my friends.Reviewed by: Dana D.
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