A Sister’s Courage (The Victory Sisters, Book 1)
Raine Linfoot longed to be a pilot throughout her teenage years, and before the outbreak of WW2 she had managed to earn her pilot’s license. One of three sisters living in southeastern England with their English father and French mother, she stubbornly faces her parents’ opposition to her plans to join the Air Transport Auxiliary (ATA). This organization was formed to ferry WW2 airplanes from the factory to the airfield where they were needed by the RAF.
Excited when she is accepted into the ATA, she enjoys flying the planes and meeting and working with young women with very different backgrounds to her own. She is inspired by the leadership of Miss Pauline Gower, who fights tenaciously to have her female pilots accepted in the same way as male pilots and who eventually achieves the unheard-of―equal pay for them. Raine (her full name is Lorraine, but she never uses it) is only saddened when Doug White, the pilot who helped her get her first pilot’s licence, is reported missing, presumed dead, by the RAF.
But she has met Alec, also a pilot, and slowly she falls in love with him. All goes well until Doug returns. He is in love with Raine and she is forced to choose between the two men.
This novel is meticulously researched and brings into focus the sterling work of the women of the ATA and especially of their leader, Pauline Gower. This information in no way intrudes into an engrossing story, with a strong, likeable female protagonist facing issues we still face today. Especially delightful are the tiny anecdotes that must have been drawn from the memories of actual ATA pilots and which dramatically illustrate the joys of flying from the perspective of a woman in an overpoweringly male world.