This is a fictional tale that appears to be loosely based on a historical female in aviation, Chubbie Miller, but not all of it is about her or about aviation...
It has a back and forth narrative between Sarah Carson and her reporter boyfriend (he doesn't stay her boyfriend, mind you), Daniel Anderson. (Funny, the real aviatrix was married to a reporter at a young age.) More of the book is from Daniel's POV, I think. This was a disappointment for me. I didn't care about him or his reporting when it had nothing to do with aviation, nor did I care about his love affair with a Scottish actress. I simply didn't care about him. I cared about Sarah.
Sarah and James Harrington (Bill Lancaster, you could say..) flew from England to Australia. The novel does a superb job chronicling the difficulties they faced, how they got funding, how they dealt with James' very religious mother, how they ended up without insurance, how they were arrested, began an affair, crashed because their minds were not on what their minds should have been, preventing a rival from being ransacked... I could go on. That part was exciting.
I stated above that this book is fiction. The names were even changed... well if you are fictionalizing it all anyway, why don't you make the characters more likable? My problem: Sarah Carson is a slut. She goes from banging Daniel to horizontal mamboing with James to humping another fellow later (while James is out trying to make money to send her) on that winds up dead. The low down: Sarah sleeps around and every man she sleeps with, she ruins their life. As the book went on, I found myself liking her less and less, especially when James abandons his wife and TWO LITTLE GIRLS to be with Sarah. Men leave their wives everyday, but to just abandon your little girls? That's wrong and I found myself disliking Sarah with a passion.
I actually found myself nodding in agreement with the religious zealot mother when she said, "Like you helped him turn his back on his loved ones? Helped him abandon his wife and children, helped him become embroiled in a sordid and sickening court case that made us ashamed of our own name? The day that you came into this house to "help" my son was the last day anyone in our family had a single moment of happiness."
To sum it up: I liked this book, but not enough to warrant the expense and time I went thru to get my hands on a copy. I would have preferred less love triangle stuff, less bed hopping, and more aviation. A major complaint: She was in the 1929 Powder Puff Derby. Instead of Daniel and his time in Italy, I feel the book would have been better if it had chronicled that. The Powder Puff Derby is an important historical milestone in women's aviation history and Chubbie Miller was a part of that. I would have loved to read about that.
Three stars and I bought it.. all the way from Australia.