My rating: 3 of 5 stars
This captivating, breakout novel—told in alternating viewpoints—brings readers 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 eighty-seven 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 fifteen-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.
I listened to the audio version and it was nice. And nice is pretty much my thought about the book. The Secrets of Flight is about Mary Browning, an old woman that retells her life's story to a young girl, Elyse Strickler. And through this do, we learn about her big secret while we also learn more about Elyse and her family and all their problems.
I wish I could have connected more with the characters. I found Mary's story interesting, her Jewish upbringing, her love for flying and the secret she has hidden all these years. However, as much as I enjoyed Elyse's story did I feel that her story took away the spotlight from Mary's story which was far more interesting. Not to mention the over the top "Hollywood" ending. I mean come on? Way too cheesy!
The book's best part is definitely Mary's story and I would have loved this book way more if her youth as a fly girl together with the other women would have taken center stage. The discrimination, the friendship and the losses. It would have been great to have learned more about the other women, their lives after they went their separate ways. I did enjoy Elyse story, but it almost felt like reading another book when the story focused on her.
I want to thank William Morrow Paperbacks for providing me with a free copy through Edelweiss for an honest review!