My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Time taken to read - on and off for 2 days
Pages - 400
Publisher - Hodder & Stoughton
Blurb from Amazon
In Edwardian England, aeroplanes are a new, magical invention, while female pilots are rare indeed.
When shy Della Dobbs meets her mother's aunt, her life changes forever. Great Auntie Betty has come home from Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, across whose windswept dunes the Wright Brothers tested their historic flying machines. Della develops a burning ambition to fly and Betty is determined to help her.
But the Great War is coming and it threatens to destroy everything - and everyone - Della loves.
Uplifting and page-turning, THE WILD AIR is a story about love, loss and following your dreams against all odds.
Della is a subdued and quiet child until her Aunt Betty comes back to live in the town and shows Della it is ok to chase your dreams. Della loves flying and aeroplanes but knows a woman's place is in the home, second place always to men, it is the early 1900s. But with Betty at her side, Della realises that against all odds she can chase her dream and be who she wants to be but at what cost?
I am so glad I didn't read the blurb when I agreed to review this, I am not a huge lover of historical fiction nor into aeroplanes much at all. Guys I loved this book!!! Aunt Betty is a fabulous character, looked down upon by the village folk for daring to be different, want more than babies and a kitchen sink. She comes back with her head held high and shows Della there is much more out there if she is brave enough to go after it. And Della does, becoming a strong and independent woman she pursues her dreams of attempting to become a female pilot. As the war is looming Della faces many more challenges than just sexist attitudes and risks everything she has achieved to follow her heart.
I love a book with strong female characters, when Aunt Betty was in the picture she stole the show and I genuinely hope the author considers giving Betty her own stage and story, she is marvelous. Della is another strong character although more subtle in her strength and we watch her grow from a young girl to a determined headstrong woman. The attitudes of the times, facing scorn for wanting something more from her life, the horrors or war and some heroic choices makes Della a character you can't help but love. A surprising aspect for me was all the plane storyline, you can tell Mascull went to town on her research for this book, I learned so much about the machines and even the history of them. I always find it a great wee bonus when you learn something true from a fiction book and it did peak my interest in aircraft although I would never be so brave to learn to fly.
A story of moral, strength, beauty, personal growth, family, expectations and going against the grain when you are expected to fall in line. Creating characters that the readers becomes invested in from practically the first page. I would have sunk this in one sitting had life not got in the way, Mascull has a way yanking you through the years to a different era, so vivid the scene you can smell and taste it. 5/5 for me this time, I have read this author before and I will read her again, I think I have missed one of her books so will need to snap that up, I eagerly await her next. Thanks to the publisher for providing me with a copy, all views are my own. Available to buy from the 6th of April 2017.