Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Fiction Books About the WASP

This is an audio version of the book - a paperback version is also available for much less!

The Woman In The Wing is a mystery that follows the adventures of Charlotte Mercer and other members of the WASP (Women Airforce Service Pilots) during World War II. This organization, made up entirely of women, was loosely attached to the Air Force and did routine flying missions within the United States, such as delivering planes to new locations, or towing targets for gun practice, so that male pilots in the Air Force would be freed for fighting missions overseas. The women in the WASP were not considered full service people, and had no benefits such as medical insurance or even money to cover funerals when a woman died during a mission. Still, women flocked to serve as opportunities to fly and serve the country were rare. Charlotte, know as Char is crushed when weeks from getting her wings, she encounters a Air Force Major who refuses to pass her for graduation unless she performs sexual favors for him.
When Char refuses, she is taken off the flying rotation and given an alternate assignment. She is assigned to work undercover in a plant that builds aircraft, and that has been experiencing sabotage and accidents. Char is to room with an FBI agent named Ellie, and they work at riveting plane wings while trying to discover the spy responsible for the problems. People start to die, both plant employees and women pilots, and the book revolves around the investigation until the spy is captured at the book's climax.

This book is recommended, both for mystery fans and for those interested in World War II history. While I'd heard of the stereotype of Rosie the Riveter and the work these women performed, I had never heard of the WASP, and the women who served their country in this fashion. I found the history as interesting as the plotline and welcomed the chance to learn more about a time that helped lay the groundwork for the women's liberation movement in the next generation. --Sandra Booksie's Blog

(I take this description from the Amazon webpage)

a. Since when does a paperback sell for $27?
b. Here's the description from the website:
Glynn Compton Harper's novel, Arise Beloved, set in WWII, is an adventure-filled story of love and war about an orphaned, rootless young woman, Becky Bright and her first lover, Troy McNutt, a navy pilot. Afraid to fly at first, she agrees to go up with Troy and finds she loves flying. Troy teaches her to fly and she soon becomes a famous woman aviator. After Pearl Harbor, unable to fly because of the war, Becky separates from Troy and joins the courageous Women Air Force Service Pilots, the famed WASP of WWII. Seeking a family, she marries Jerry Crawford, a B-17 navigator, a man with a close-knit family, but Jerry is unfaithful to her and asks for a divorce just before he is shot down and captured by the Germans. Expelled from the WASPs after an unauthorized flight, Becky risks her life in a dangerous mission to exchange her faithless husband for Gunther Hammer, a German POW. In the meantime, her first lover, Troy, is shot down by the Japanese and marooned on a South Pacific island where he fathers a daughter with a Polynesian woman, who later abandons him and their child. After the war, Becky is reunited with Troy, and with his daughter, they become the family she has been seeking all her life.

After reading that description, who needs to read the book? And of course she does it all for (unfaithful) husband and family...

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