Monday, June 04, 2012

Flygirl by Sherri L. Smith

Monday, June 04, 2012 with No comments
  All Ida Mae Jones wants to do is fly. Her daddy was a pilot, and even years after his death, her connection to him still feels strongest when she's in the air. But in 1940s Louisiana, being black and being a woman are two strikes against her, no matter how light-skinned she may be.
  When the U.S. enters the World War, the army forms a group called the WASP--Women Airforce Service Pilots--and Ida finally sees her chance to take action: do what she loves and help her brother who is stationed overseas. As if being a woman in a man's army is not hard enough, Ida must use her light skin to pass as a white girl to be accepted as a WASP.
  But Ida soon realizes that a new name and a new outfit can't hide who you really are inside. She can't escape the burden that comes from denying one's family and self. As she chases her dreams, Ida finds out that it's not what you do but who you are that really makes the difference after all.

What I Liked Best:
If there's one thing I can say about this novel right off the bat, it's that it was well-written. Ms. Smith has a way of expressing the emotions of her character Ida Mae in a way that makes you feel as though you were right there with her - whether it's in the descriptions of how Ida Mae feels during flight, or the internal struggle that she goes through when trying to figure out what kind of person she is.

This book dealt with a difficult topic - one that I have no way of truly understanding myself because I am not African-American: the main character had to struggle between choosing her family and choosing what she loved to do, which was flying for WASP. The only way to do that was to throw away who she was and who her family was, and pretend to be white so that she would have the chance to fly, despite already facing hardships just for being a female pilot during WWII. 

Ms. Smith painted such a vivid description of her character's inner struggles that I was able to form a connection with her - I may not understand what it's like to be in her particular situation, but I did understand the struggle she had with figuring out who she was as a person, which I think is something that almost everyone could identify with.

What I Liked Least:
I thought the beginning of the novel started off a bit slow. It made it difficult for me to get into it at first, because it took a while to grab my interest. I don't think it really picked-up for me until Ida Mae started her WASP training. Once I finally managed to reach that point of the story, it actually became hard to put down.

I also felt that the end of the novel left me wanting a bit more. Some loose ends were never tied up, but I feel that the author intended it that way, so that we as readers could be left to contemplate more about how we think things may have ended up. Either way, I do recommend this one - it really does give you a lot to think about. It also left me wanting to research more about the WASP program.



Post a Comment

Thank you for stopping by! Your comments are truly appreciated, and I always try to respond to each of you at your own blogs. Have an awesome day! :)