Thursday, April 5, 2018

Nothing But Sky (review)

Nothing But Sky
Author: Amy Trueblood
Flux (March 27, 2018)

Grace Lafferty has been performing stunts as a wing walker with her uncle Warren and his barnstorming team since she was 13 years old. She fears that they will soon be forced out of the sky by bigger teams or stricter air regulations. Determined to keep her chosen family together, Grace will do whatever it takes to get to the World Aviation Expo where they can compete to win a lucrative contract with a Hollywood studio.

There's so much to like in this novel: gutsy Grace who risks all and ignores the taunts and threats that follow an independent young woman in the 1920s, the style and atmosphere of the post WWI barnstorming era, the authentic feeling of the budding romance between Grace and Henry, and the historical details about death-defying tricks performed by the daring young men and women of the time.

Through it all runs a sense of hope and optimism in a time when there were no safety nets, under the planes or under one's future. I related to the uncle who is trying to do his best by Grace while worrying he is doing something wrong, to Henry who is fighting his own demons from the war, but most of all to Grace whose indomitable spirit barely flags even when faced with cruelty or disaster.

While I enjoy the clear delineation of good and evil in this classic tale, I can imagine some will be slightly taken aback, as so many novels today dwell on the morally ambiguous. Those have their place, but I admit to enjoying a story where the morality is fairly clear throughout.

I recommend this to young adults and grownups (and even precocious younger teens) as an excellent tale with a strong female lead, a thrilling plot, and a wonderful sense of the roaring twenties.

Five stars!

Nothing But Sky on Amazon US

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