Wild Air is historical fiction. It begins in 1909 in the English coastal town of Cleethorpes, with the story woven around the early aviators and, in particular, the first women to take to the skies.
Della Dobbes has always enjoyed working with her hands and fixing things. A great aunt returns from Kitty Hawk, the beach in North Carolina where the Wright brothers tested their flying machines. She fills Della’s head with dreams of flight, then supports Della to make them come true. Faced with ridicule, sabotage and refusals to allow women to fly, Della perseveres and makes her way as a pioneering aviatrix.
I did enjoy this book, especially learning about the first female aviators. Most people have heard of Amelia Earhart and Amy Johnson, but in this book the author has cameo roles for lesser known, real-life ladies of the skies. The story takes the reader on a journey which includes Edwardian and WWI era aeroplanes. There’s romance too, but is doesn’t dominate the tale; I enjoyed the love-story for the support act it provided. The author also provided some interesting notes at the end of the book, showing how close she tried to keep her writing to true events. I thought these were fascinating and well worth the extra read. Ideal for those who like WW1 novels or who want to know more about daring early flyers.
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In Edwardian England, aeroplanes are a new, magical invention, while female pilots are rare indeed.
When shy Della Dobbs meets her mother’s aunt, her life changes forever. Great Auntie Betty has come home from Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, across whose windswept dunes the Wright Brothers tested their historic flying machines. Della develops a burning ambition to fly and Betty is determined to help her.
But the Great War is coming and it threatens to destroy everything – and everyone – Della loves.