MY THOUGHTS AND BOOK REVIEW
Susan Tate Ankeny's "American Flygirl," releasing on May 28, 2024, takes readers on a thrilling journey into the world of aviation, weaving a narrative of empowerment, determination, and the relentless pursuit of dreams. Against the backdrop of historical aviation challenges and societal norms that restricted the ambitions of women, the novel introduces a captivating protagonist who defies expectations and soars to new heights.
The novel, set in a pivotal period of aviation history, immerses readers in the challenges faced by female pilots breaking into a male-dominated industry. Ankeny's meticulous research is evident in the authentic portrayal of the aviation landscape, creating a vivid and immersive experience for the reader. The depiction of the protagonist's journey is not merely a story of flight but a symbolic representation of empowerment and resilience.
The strength of "American Flygirl" lies in its well-crafted characters, particularly the protagonist who becomes a beacon of determination. Navigating societal prejudices and defying gender norms, the character resonates as a symbol of empowerment, inspiring readers to challenge limitations and pursue their passions unapologetically. Ankeny skillfully blends historical accuracy with a compelling narrative, making the protagonist's journey relatable and emotionally impactful.
The pacing of the novel is masterfully executed, keeping readers engaged from start to finish. Ankeny's prose not only propels the narrative forward but also vividly describes aviation sequences, instilling a palpable sense of excitement and tension. The novel goes beyond being a tale of aviation; it serves as a powerful exploration of themes such as perseverance, resilience, and the courage to confront societal expectations.
"American Flygirl" is a triumphant celebration of trailblazing women who dared to break barriers both in the skies and on the ground. The novel's overarching message encourages readers to embrace their ambitions, challenge societal constraints, and reach for their aspirations, regardless of prevailing norms. It stands as a testament to the indomitable spirit of those who defy expectations, making it a compelling and inspiring read.
In conclusion, Susan Tate Ankeny's "American Flygirl" is not just a novel; it is an empowering narrative that transcends its historical setting. Through a captivating protagonist and a richly detailed depiction of aviation history, the novel encourages readers to break free from limitations and pursue their dreams with unwavering determination. Ankeny's work is a must-read for those who seek tales of empowerment, resilience, and the triumph of the human spirit.
Thanks to NetGalley and Citadel Publishers for the advance copy for my honest review.
One of WWII’s most uniquely hidden figures, Hazel Ying Lee was the first Asian American woman to earn a pilot’s license, join the WASPs, and fly for the United States military amid widespread anti-Asian sentiment and policies.
Her singular story of patriotism, barrier breaking, and fearless sacrifice is told for the first time in full for readers of The Women with Silver Wings by Katherine Sharp Landdeck, A Woman of No Importance by Sonia Purnell, The Last Boat Out of Shanghai by Helen Zia, Facing the Mountain by Daniel James Brown and all Asian American, women’s and WWII history books.
In 1932, Hazel Ying Lee, a nineteen-year-old American daughter of Chinese immigrants, sat in on a friend’s flight lesson. It changed her life. In less than a year, a girl with a wicked sense of humor, a newfound love of flying, and a tough can-do attitude earned her pilot’s license and headed for China to help against invading Japanese forces. In time, Hazel would become the first Asian American to fly with the Women Airforce Service Pilots. As thrilling as it may have been, it wasn’t easy.
In America, Hazel felt the oppression and discrimination of the Chinese Exclusion Act. In China’s field of male-dominated aviation she was dismissed for being a woman, and for being an American. But in service to her country, Hazel refused to be limited by gender, race, and impossible dreams. Frustrated but undeterred she forged ahead, married Clifford Louie, a devoted and unconventional husband who cheered his wife on, and gave her all for the cause achieving more in her short remarkable life than even she imagined possible.
American Flygirl is the untold account of a spirited fighter and an indomitable hidden figure in American history. She broke every common belief about women. She challenged every social restriction to endure and to succeed. And against seemingly insurmountable obstacles, Hazel Ying Lee reached for the skies and made her mark as a universal and unsung hero whose time has come.