“The airplane lies in the shadow of a plateu, half-buried in sand and scrub. It sits at an angle, so the right wing slants upward against the sky while the left wing sinks into the ground… When you come upon a wreckage like this, you approach like you might approach a graveyard. The question is, what bones lie inside?”
Thank you to William Morrow Books for gifting me a copy of HER LAST FLIGHT to read and provide an honest review of.
“In 1947, photographer and war correspondent Janey Everett arrives at a remote surfing village on the Hawaiian island of Kauai to research a planned biography of forgotten aviation pioneer Sam Mallory, who joined the loyalist forces in the Spanish Civil War and never returned. Obsessed with Sam’s fate, Janey has tracked down Irene Lindquist, the owner of a local island-hopping airline, whom she believes might be the legendary Irene Foster, Mallory’s onetime student, and flying partner. Foster’s disappearance during a round-the-world flight in 1937 remains one of the world’s greatest mysteries.
At first, the flinty Mrs. Lindquist denies any connection to Foster. But Janey informs her that the wreck of Sam Mallory’s airplane has recently been discovered in a Spanish desert, and piece by piece, the details of Foster’s extraordinary life emerge: from the beginnings of her flying career in Southern California to her complicated, passionate relationship with Mallory, to the collapse of her marriage to her aggressive career manager, the publishing scion George Morrow.
As Irene spins her tale to its searing conclusion, Janey’s past gathers its power. The duel between the two women takes a heart-stopping turn. To whom does Mallory rightfully belong? Can we ever come to terms with the loss of those we love and the lives we might have lived?”
I have followed Beatriz Williams’ work for years now. I first became invested in her writing style while reading Summer Wives and then fell in love with The Golden Hour last year. When I read that she was releasing another book this summer, HER LAST FLIGHT, I couldn’t wait to begin reading the novel as I have always been interested in Amelia Earhart and was eager to see the way that Williams was retelling the famous Aviatrix’s disappearance.
I loved the way that Williams flipped from the perspective of eager and tenacious Janey Everett to the excerpts from the Aviatrix and the perspective of the famous Irene Lindquist. While I did figure out bits of Janey’s story before it was revealed, I still enjoyed the build-up and all of the background information that went into developing her character.
I typically enjoy the historical fiction genre as it provides me with a history that I was not wholly aware of and in the case of HER FIRST FLIGHT, I was not familiar with the women pioneers of aviation nor was I familiar with the great lengths that these pilots went to for the sake of creating the method of travel that we are so fond of now. The idea that it would take 18 hours to fly from California to Hawaii is beyond my scope of understanding and I am grateful for those that made sacrifices along the way so that we can all enjoy the ability to travel with such ease from all over the world.
Unfortunately, I can’t say that I loved this book. It fell short for me in that the storyline often seemed to crawl along. I understand that Janey’s character was essential to the book but I felt that there was too much attention given to certain aspects of her life; and, that paired with her prickly personality made it so I struggled to get lost in the pages. I loved the sections of the book that followed Irene Lindquist and Sam Mallory; I even loved the chapters that surrounded Irene Foster but because of my distaste for Janey, I can’t say that I loved the book.
However, this does not mean that I am not recommending HER LAST FLIGHT to my fellow historical fiction enthusiasts as I do believe that this was a fantastic storyline and that someone will love Janey’s side of the book. I urge you to add this novel to your reading list and give it a try! I will be anxiously awaiting the release of the next book that Beatriz Williams writes.
Thank you to Beatriz Williams and William Morrow for gifting me a copy of this book!
HER LAST FLIGHT was published on June 30, 2020, and is available at your local bookstore to purchase or order!