The Forthcoming One
Due out in November, Danielle Steel’s newest deals with flying nurses in the Army’s Medical Air Evacuation Transport Squadron. (Sorry, there isn’t enough information to be sure the women are also the pilots, but I’m including it anyway). Flying Angels: A Novel by Danielle Steel is available for pre-order.
The Brand New Ones
Newly published, this novel is another in the “missing aviator” genre, this time with a modern-day story of the actress chosen to play her on film.
After being rescued as infants from a sinking ocean liner in 1914, Marian and Jamie Graves are raised by their dissolute uncle in Missoula, Montana. There–after encountering a pair of barnstorming pilots passing through town in beat-up biplanes–Marian commences her lifelong love affair with flight. At fourteen she drops out of school and finds an unexpected and dangerous patron in a wealthy bootlegger who provides a plane and subsidizes her lessons, an arrangement that will haunt her for the rest of her life, even as it allows her to fulfill her destiny: circumnavigating the globe by flying over the North and South Poles.
Great Circle: A Novel by Maggie Shipstead.
Saint Louis, 1923. The golden age of flight has just begun, and pilot Mattie McAdams refuses to cede the skies to cocky flyboys. She longs to perform daring stunts in her family’s flying circus, but the men in her life stand in her way—including the show’s star performer, Leo Ward. They can wring their hands all they want; Mattie won’t stay grounded for long.
The Time-Tested Ones
Has a reporter located seemingly lost round-the-world aviator Irene Foster? Her Last Flight: A Novel by Beatriz Williams.
West With the Night, the memoir of real life pilot Beryl Markham the first solo pilot to cross the Atlantic non-stop, led a colorful life mostly in Kenya. West With the Night by Beryl Markham.
Circling the Sun tells the fictionalized story of Beryl Markham. This was one of my favorite books of the year in its publication year. Circling the Sun by Paula McLain.
While she is best remembered today as a writer and as the mother of the kidnapped Lindberg baby, Anne Morrow (Mrs. Charles) Lindbergh was also a pilot. This fictionalized account of her life is a wonderful read. The Aviator’s Wife by Melanie Benjamin.
The Women’s Airforce Service Pilots (WASPS) taught men to fly and flew planes to where ever they were needed in the USA for the Air Corps. Several women died in this service, yet they are largely forgotten today. The Women With Silver Wings by Katharine Sharp Landdeck.
The second book in a series about its heroine, Velva Jean leaves her rural Appalachian home to serve her country as a pilot in the WASPS. Velva Jean Learns to Fly by Jennifer Niven.
Amy McGrath was the first female Marine pilot to fly a combat mission. After the Marines she ran against Senator Mitch McConnell. Honor Bound: An American Story of Dreams and Service by Amy McGrath.
Do you know of other books to add to this list? Leave me a comment or a link to your own post on female aviators.