Sookie is almost 60 years old, with the mother from hell. While she wasn't physically abused, she was emotionally and mentally put down all her life. She's always been pressured into being the perfect Simmons, into going to this school, doing this or that, and now her life revolves around taking care of the old ungrateful hag.
And one day she finds out she was never a Simmons at all, so what was all that crap?
She goes on a quest to find the truth and in the process, find herself. Who is she really? And hey, it's never too late to find yourself, to throw off family and society shackles and be YOU.
The store goes back and forth between present-day Sookie and a World War II story surrounding Fransi, a Polish girl who not only runs an all-girls filling station for a while, but becomes a WASP, Women's Air Service Pilots. And I love my women in aviation in books!!! There's just enough about the WASP to educate anyone not familiar with them.
This book didn't disappoint. I laughed uproariously many times, shook my head at others, and even found myself dabbing my eyes at one point.
I think it's important for a book to either 1. Make me laugh. 2. Make me think hard about something or have a moral. or 3. Teach me something. Otherwise, why read it? You can have your fluff. I'll take something with a bit more substance, thank you.
LOL moment (one of many): The flight instructor who for reasons I won't reveal had to stay seated in the plane after landing until he was privately ensconced, place and all, in a hangar. OMG!!! Too funny!
Theme that spoke to me a deeper level: I'm just going to borrow a quote from the story 'cause it says it so much better than I can. "Being a successful person is not necessarily defined by what you have achieved, but by what you have overcome."
Something I learned: In the forties, Texaco had a White Patrol, a group of nurses who drove around in a white Chevrolet and inspected all the gas stations' bathrooms. A White Cross of Cleanliness was awarded to those worthy and clean enough. Phillip's followed with Highway Hostesses, the same thing, but in cream-colored vehicles with green fenders and 66 on the doors. I found these old tidbits fascinating.
Conclusion: A book well-worth your time. Loved every bit of it.