Unlike the other two books I've reviewed, this book is totally up my alley; historical fiction, women being awesome and kick-ass, and with unstereotyped queer characters (I apologize if my use of the word queer bothers you. I use it to describe myself, so I don't see it as offensive, but I am aware that people sometimes perceive it as offensive and that it has been used as a slur.).
To be more specific, it is about a Russian-American journalist named Alex Preston and a Soviet ace pilot named Lilya Drachenko. Alex comes to Russia during WWII at the behest of her boss to write pieces about the Soviet war effort. She meets many people, including other Americans and Joseph Stalin himself, as well as the female commander of the female pilots, Marina Raskova (a real person). Alex, realizing that a story about the "Night Witches", as the Germans called them would be a coup for her newspaper, wrangles an invitation to meet these women.
From there, the story heats up. As Alex learns more about these 'Night Witches', she begins to like and befriend all of them. Especially a young ace pilot and loyal communist named Lilya Drachenko. And as the war drags on, Alex gets more and more invested in these brave women and their missions and lives, and she and Lilya get more involved.
Considering the time and place, and their different nationalities, the two women have to be extremely careful, and they don't always succeed, which leads to some pretty nerve-wracking moments! And that's just when you leave out how dangerous Lilya's job is! There is never a dull moment in this book.
Furthermore, Alex meets and befriends quite a few historical figures, which I kind of love, because it's really cool to see people you read about in textbooks humanized. Alex and Lilya are actually themselves based/inspired on two real life figures in history; Lilya Litviak and Margaret Bourke-White.
In the end, after quite a few plot twists, the story ends on a happy and hopeful note, which I find quite satisfying, because it isn't just a simple happy ending.
Lilya Litviak Margaret Bourke-White
Have any of you guys read this book? What do you think of it if you did?
Has any one read other books by this author?
Any other opinions about my review?