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review 2018-03-26 19:57
Wing walking feminist during Prohibition
Nothing But Sky - Amy Trueblood

Disclaimer: reviewing advance uncorrected proof via NetGalley

 

This is a solid historical fiction debut with an interesting and unique premise. An orphaned teen is determined to win a contract with a film studio to keep her found-family together and hold onto her dangerously exhilarating job as a wing walker - an acrobatic who performs stunts on (and off of) flying ex-WWI planes.

 

I thought there was a good balance between period-accurate tone and characterization, and of-the-moment attitudes and values. Language use wasn't totally jarring, and especially at the beginning, there was a noticeable effort to avoid anachronism. Based on true-to-life examples, the wing-walking girl's fierceness and her (and her friends') push back against traditional expectations for women weren't totally out of left field. The structure of the story is not unlike a sports story - the big game coming up, the secret early morning training, the big snag etc. There is a fairly significant romance subplot that didn't really hold my attention, but that's just the way it goes sometimes. Very good twist at the end - some excellent slight of hand helps it land effectively, and if the wrap-up was a little pat, that's just the way of engaging storytelling. Generally an enjoyable read.

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