A detailed recounting of one woman’s passion for aviation above all else.


A young woman leaves her family home to fly airplanes for the British Air Transport Auxiliary during World War II and gets caught in a confusing love triangle.

In 1932, Rosalie Wright, a 10-year-old farm girl from Cambridgeshire, takes her first ride in an airplane and is forever smitten with flight. When she turns 16, her parents finally allow her to take flying lessons. Only a short time later, World War II erupts, and the local airfield halts civilian operations. It seems Rosalie will be stuck working the family farm forever. But then she stumbles on an article about Pauline Gower, a pilot she's long admired, who has been appointed to the Women’s Division of the Air Transport Auxiliary, a group that ferries airplanes for the Royal Air Force. After repeated rejections based on her age, she finally secures a position with this elite squad of aviatrices, often referred to as “Attagirls.” As Rosalie builds her career within the ATA, she develops close friendships with the other Attagirls and also finds a love interest. Unfortunately, the man has questionable intentions, and another intriguing fellow is vying for Rosalie’s attention. As the story progresses, it is unclear whether Rosalie will realize that sometimes the best route to happiness comes from following the path of least resistance. Full of interesting details about the different types of airplanes used by the British during World War II, as well as the purposes of each, the narrative takes an unhurried approach toward detailing Rosalie’s adventures. The book reads almost like a diary, delving into many of the mundane parts of Rosalie’s life, often too deeply, before getting to the juicier tidbits. Even so, the author manages to depict Rosalie’s friendships with fellow Attagirls and RAF pilots in a manner that is both realistic and touching. A few twists and turns keep the story engaging despite its often sluggish tempo.

A detailed recounting of one woman’s passion for aviation above all else.

Pub Date: Jan. 12, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-64385-527-1

Page Count: 293

Publisher: Alcove Press

Review Posted Online: Oct. 27, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2020

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Light on suspense but still a solid page-turner.


When a devoted husband and father disappears, his wife and daughter set out to find him.

Hannah Hall is deeply in love with her husband of one year, Owen Michaels. She’s also determined to win over his 16-year-old daughter, Bailey, who has made it very clear that she’s not thrilled with her new stepmother. Despite the drama, the family is mostly a happy one. They live in a lovely houseboat in Sausalito; Hannah is a woodturner whose handmade furniture brings in high-dollar clientele; and Owen works for The Shop, a successful tech firm. Their lives are shattered, however, when Hannah receives a note saying “Protect her” and can’t reach Owen by phone. Then there’s the bag full of cash Bailey finds in her school locker and the shocking news that The Shop’s CEO has been taken into custody. Hannah learns that the FBI has been investigating the firm for about a year regarding some hot new software they took to market before it was fully functional, falsifying their financial statements. Hannah refuses to believe her husband is involved in the fraud, and a U.S. marshal assigned to the case claims Owen isn’t a suspect. Hannah doesn’t know whom to trust, though, and she and Bailey resolve to root out the clues that might lead to Owen. They must also learn to trust one another. Hannah’s narrative alternates past and present, detailing her early days with Owen alongside her current hunt for him, and author Dave throws in a touch of danger and a few surprises. But what really drives the story is the evolving nature of Hannah and Bailey’s relationship, which is by turns poignant and frustrating but always realistic.

Light on suspense but still a solid page-turner.

Pub Date: May 4, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-5011-7134-5

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Feb. 10, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2021

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For devoted Hannah fans in search of a good cry.


The miseries of the Depression and Dust Bowl years shape the destiny of a Texas family.

“Hope is a coin I carry: an American penny, given to me by a man I came to love. There were times in my journey when I felt as if that penny and the hope it represented were the only things that kept me going.” We meet Elsa Wolcott in Dalhart, Texas, in 1921, on the eve of her 25th birthday, and wind up with her in California in 1936 in a saga of almost unrelieved woe. Despised by her shallow parents and sisters for being sickly and unattractive—“too tall, too thin, too pale, too unsure of herself”—Elsa escapes their cruelty when a single night of abandon leads to pregnancy and forced marriage to the son of Italian immigrant farmers. Though she finds some joy working the land, tending the animals, and learning her way around Mama Rose's kitchen, her marriage is never happy, the pleasures of early motherhood are brief, and soon the disastrous droughts of the 1930s drive all the farmers of the area to despair and starvation. Elsa's search for a better life for her children takes them out west to California, where things turn out to be even worse. While she never overcomes her low self-esteem about her looks, Elsa displays an iron core of character and courage as she faces dust storms, floods, hunger riots, homelessness, poverty, the misery of migrant labor, bigotry, union busting, violent goons, and more. The pedantic aims of the novel are hard to ignore as Hannah embodies her history lesson in what feels like a series of sepia-toned postcards depicting melodramatic scenes and clichéd emotions.

For devoted Hannah fans in search of a good cry.

Pub Date: Feb. 9, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-2501-7860-2

Page Count: 464

Publisher: St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: Nov. 18, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2020

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