STEWARDESS by Robert Serling


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Fifteen years (1955-1970) in the life of a stewardess: a little dirt, a crisis or two, but no surprises. Danni Hendricks is a college grad who has taught for two years at a Catholic grade school but is really mad about flying. So we follow her through training at Trans-National--where, after her first year, she becomes engaged to divorced Capt. Anthony Buchanan, a millionaire pilot. But Anthony, an oddly reserved fellow, slowly falls apart, begins reading the Bible aloud in the cockpit, and is revealed to be in a paranoid-schiz breakdown before he rapes Danni and commits suicide. Not surprisingly, then, Danni clams up emotionally and devotes herself to T-N, working her way up the corporate ladder. She gets a big boost by sleeping with senior VP Harmon Gillespie (who's taking payoffs from contractors). The years pass; Danni's lovelife is nil; eventually, known as the ""Iron Butterfly,"" she's put in charge of stew training and has to deal with personnel problems. (E.g., three T-N stews appear nude in an unflattering Stud magazine article.) And she's also up against the stews' union leader, hard-bitten Pat Martin, while trying to ram through reforms. Finally, then, Danni becomes the first female VP in aviation--an inevitable windup for this blandly predictable, generally static novel (little in-the-ak excitement), which often, despite the shady stuff, reads like a long promotion piece from the airline industry.

Pub Date: July 9th, 1982
Publisher: St. Martin's