by Danielle Steel
Publication Date November 23, 2021
Published by Diversified Publishing
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Genres: Fiction / Historical / World War II, Fiction / Romance / Historical / 20th Century, Fiction / Women
World War II brings together six remarkable young flight nurses, who face the challenges of war and its many heartbreaks and victories as unsung heroes, in this inspiring novel from #1 New York Times bestselling author Danielle Steel.
Audrey Parker's life changes forever when Pearl Harbor is attacked on December 7, 1941. Her brother, a talented young Navy pilot, had been stationed there, poised to fulfill their late father's distinguished legacy. Fresh out of nursing school with a passion and a born gift for helping others, both Audrey and her friend Lizzie suddenly find their nation on the brink of war. Driven to do whatever they can to serve, they enlist in the Army and embark on a new adventure as flight nurses.
Risking their lives on perilous missions, they join the elite Medical Air Evacuation Transport Squadron and fly into enemy territory almost daily to rescue wounded soldiers from the battlefield. Audrey and Lizzie make enormous sacrifices to save lives alongside an extraordinary group of nurses: Alex, who longs to make a difference in the world; Louise, a bright mind who faced racial prejudice growing up inthe South; Pru, a selfless leader with a heart of gold; and Emma, whose confidence and grit push her to put everything on the line for her patients.
Even knowing they will not achieve any rank and will receive little pay for their efforts, the "Flying Angels" will give their all in the fight for freedom. They serve as bravely and tirelessly as the men they rescue on the front lines, in daring airlifts, and are eternally bound by their loyalty to one another. Danielle Steel presents a sweeping, stunning tribute to these incredibly courageous women, inspiring symbols of bravery and valor.
Four and a half Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭒
Flying Angels by Danielle Steel is one of my favorite books of hers that I’ve read. I realize there is an abundance of books about WWII out there now, but this is a bit different and more uplifting and optimistic than many of them. Yes, it’s wartime, and tragedy is part of the book, but these Flying Angels are true heroes and their story is amazing and uplifting.
Audrey Parker goes to nursing school to learn to care for her mother who has Parkinson’s disease. Her brother Will, graduates from Annapolis and becomes a Navy fighter pilot. When the war breaks out, Will gets assigned to Honolulu and gets killed at the attack on Pearl Harbor. Lizzy, a friend Audrey met in nursing school had fallen in love with Will, and is devastated by his death as are Audrey and her mother. Lizzy decides to enlist in the Army as a nurse and meets Alex, the daughter of New York aristocrats. Lizzy and Alex decide to join the elite Medical Air Evacuation Transport Squadron in order to help the war effort. By this time, Audrey’s mother has succumbed to her illness and died, leaving Audrey free to join her friend as a flight nurse. In flight school, they meet Louise a black woman from the south who was raised by parents in the medical field but faces segregation and racism every day.
All four American women are then transferred to England and join in with the RAF flight nurses to transport the wounded men from enemy lines in Europe. In England, the four women meet Pru, the daughter of a titled family from Yorkshire, and Emma, who came from the slums of London’s East End. The six women become fast friends as they work tirelessly for the war effort and risk their lives every day to bring the wounded back to hospitals in England.
As is usual for Danielle Steel books, this started out with a lot of backstory and information. But, I thought it was so important to know these women’s backstory as I was so interested to find out why they left their fairly comfortable lives and volunteered for such dangerous duties. Although the start is a bit slow, it’s also fascinating to understand these women and the motivations they have to uproot themselves from their comfortable lives and risk everything to help these injured men. Once all the women met and started their missions the rest of the story flew by as I was awed by the bravery and courage of these women. Yes, this is a wartime story and it is full of tragedy and heartbreak. However, the courage and dedication of these flying angels perseveres and the book is uplifting and optimistic.
I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves historical fiction, especially WWII historical fiction. I received a complimentary copy of this book. The opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.