It has been 60 years since World War II ended, yet some people still believe the only women to have contact with military aircraft were the “Janes that built the planes” and Rosie the Riveter.
Author Sarah Byrn Rickman is helping educate these people through her books about women who flew for Uncle Sam during the war. Rickman follows “The Originals,” her well-received non-fiction account of the Women’s Auxiliary Ferrying Squadron with “Flight from Fear,” a novel about a young woman’s experiences in the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP).
The story follows 23-year-old Lacy Stearns, a tomboy from Colorado, as she makes the transition from newlywed and teacher to war widow and WASP. Stearns learns to fly to cope with her grief when her husband, also a pilot, dies in the crash of a B-24. She encounters challenges during her flight training, as well as resistance from members of her family who are skeptical of her decision to join the WASP.
Rickman describes the social aspect of the war as well, as paths cross and relationships are created and broken in the uncertainty of wartime. The characters and situations encountered are believable, as they should be since Rickman collected stories from several WASP before she penned the novel.
At 241 pages, the paperback is a quick read and hard to put down. Published by Disc-Us Books, Inc., the book retails for $16.50.
By Meg Godlewski