Quick, name the first woman to fly solo around the world! Bet you can't.
Spun from interviews with the pilot herself (who died in 2014) and family members, plus a 1970 autobiographical account, this often–hair-raising tale not only rescues a major aeronautical feat from near-total obscurity, but presents an eye-opening picture of another era’s gender roles and expectations. Mock faced hazards including high winds, icing, mental exhaustion, and a dead radio on the monthlong 1964 flight. The (as a local newspaper put it) “petite Bexley housewife and mother” also attended to proper dress and shoes along the way. As Pimm describes it, she also had to put up with a controlling husband, who comes across as a real toad by continually urging her to cut out the sightseeing and unilaterally canceling planned tributes in Hawaii to speed her along; he also wasn’t above emotional blackmail: “no word from you all day after landing in Tripoli,” reads a telegram. “Your mother in tears. Love, Russ.” Tedious minor details and irrelevant sidebars make the flight a rough one, but readers will walk away afterward appreciating the magnitude of Mock’s accomplishment—and, with help from the broad array of snapshots, news photos, and personal documents, of her spirit and character, too.
Loosely knit but notable both for the journey it commemorates and its view of a time’s parochial attitudes. (timeline, endnotes, glossary, reading lists) (Biography. 11-14)