Title: Reach for the Sky
Author: James Scott
Genre: Historical Fiction
Southern California, 1929. It is the Golden Age of American Aviation, when dashing young men pilot flying machines and women are told they don’t belong in the cockpit.
That means nothing to fifteen-year-old Shannon Donnelly. Orphaned and on the run from her parents’ killers, she stumbles into the world of aviation. Inspired by a chance encounter with Amelia Earhart, she pursues a dream to fly, becomes part of 1930s Hollywood, and is shadowed by a man determined to see her dead. Along the way, she wins the hearts of two men—one she will marry; one she cannot forget—and falls into a love triangle culminating in a daring rescue mission into Nazi-occupied France.
Take flight into a slice of 1930s Southern California life—air races, Hollywood, movie stars, dangerous flying machines, the Great Depression, and more in an adventure set in the same period as The Rocketeer and Chinatown.
A book that may be slow in the takeoff but once it clears the runway it soars! This book is the life story of Shannon. What the author does is share Shannon's experiences as she navigates the turbulence of her life. In many ways, the steadfast fifteen-year-old at the start is the same world-weary woman at the end.
The storyline is gripping and intense at times. The action scenes are riveting. All the characters are well developed and add to the rich story. Set in the time frame from basically the late 1920s to the late 1940s, the storylines are full and rich. Shannon must face and overcome challenge after challenge. Some threaten her life, some threaten her heart, many threaten her integrity.
Through it all, the reader cheers on Shannon to make it through. If you long for a book about a strong female lead, then this book is for you. If you like historical fiction set in the early 20th century, then this book is for you. A book about flight, not just of planes, but of a person's spirit.
My Rating: 5 stars
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James Scott (formerly writing as B J Scott) is the multiple-award winning author of seven novels, six of them historical and one of speculative fiction. His awards include the Will Rogers Bronze Medallion for Western Romance, and the WILLA Literary Award sponsored by Women Writing the West. All his novels feature a common factor: they’re built around strong female protagonists: women who want men in their lives but don’t need them to succeed; adventurous, fearless, and determined.
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Reviewed by: Mr. N