Title: The Secrets of Flight
Author: Maggie Leffler
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
Publish Date: May 3, 2016
Source: TLC Book Tours
What's the Story?:
From Goodreads.com: "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
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."
My Two Cents:
"The Secrets of Flight" is the story of two people, Mary and Elyse. Mary is almost 90 and is looking back at her life and trying to come to terms with the secrets she has been hiding. Elyse is 15 and is going through a lot as her world is upended when her family breaks apart. These two characters have very different backgrounds that come together in some really surprising ways in this book. This book is one where I was torn between turning the pages faster and savoring each page for a little bit longer.
With many historical fiction books that have narratives in different time periods, I am usually drawn to the one set in the past. While I really, really liked the past narrative (I'll get to that in a second), the present narrative where Mary and Elyse come together is great. I loved seeing how they unraveled Mary's past. This aspect kept me turning the pages. I loved the past narrative as well. Mary secretly learns to fly planes without most of her family knowing. It's World War II and not becoming for a woman to do something that is usually done by men. Although I have no aspirations to fly, my husband got his pilot's license last year and I saw a lot of the same excitement and daring and want for adventure between him and Mary, which made her character feel very true to me.
The historical detail in the book is very good. I loved how the author described Mary's life and her family, especially her dear sister Sarah. These are characters that I will be thinking about for a very long time. If you are looking for a historical fiction filled with vivid characters, daring, and adventure, this would be a great pick!