A story of finding and redefining yourself.
“Let yourself learn”: life advice given to Carol Danvers in the form of a warning that sticks with her on her path to trying to make history. Carol, with a dream to become the first female fighter pilot in the United States Air Force Academy, finds that she must analyze and reset her concept of what is right and worth fighting for and, therefore, what must be pursued. Shackled by feelings of not belonging and self-doubt, and challenged by the old boys’ club environment, she must learn to find motivation from within rather than striving to prove something to others. It won’t be easy, but she has the help of her best friend, African-American Maria Rambeau, and later, her flight group. Carol, who is white, pushes herself to show she has what it takes to be the best and is later faced with interrogating her inner rubric for evaluating what “the best” means. In this touching tale of self-discovery, determination, and hope, Palmer (The F Word, 2017, etc.) gives clear voices to the protagonist and secondary characters, rounding them out with admirable character development. The elements that describe the Air Force are illuminating without inundating readers.
With an underlying feminist message, this novel captivates readers right from the start and keeps them engaged. (Fiction. 12-adult)