Glamour Girls

Written by Marty Wingate
Review by Bryan Dumas

Rosalie Wright wanted to fly ever since she saw a plane at a flying circus set up at an airfield near her family’s Lime Farm. Her father indulged her wishes, much to her mother’s consternation. With the advent of World War II, Rosalie found herself flying with the Air Transport Auxilary moving every type of aircraft across southern England. With the ATA stationed at Hamble near Southampton, Rosalie is billeted in the home of Mrs. May, a kind, but stern matron whose sons are off fighting. Living with them is Caro, a spitfire in her own right, and soon, a dear friend and near-sister to Rosalie.

Told in a diary-like manner, detailing Rosalie’s days, how she gets from one airfield to the next, the types of planes she’s flying, and how they are used in the war, Glamour Girls is both a period piece showing the hardships of life during the war, as well as Rosalie’s oft-confused outlook on life—whether it be the secret that Caro is trying to share or Rosalie’s foray into love with an RAF pilot to the human cost of the ATA service. A roguish ATA pilot with one poor eye and a mysterious name adds to the personal chaos that Rosalie endures.


At times the story reads like a checklist—especially the ferry routes. There are the expected events—loss of a friend, a love-triangle, a personal tragedy—that readers will find familiar, but Wingate throws a few twists along the way that help pull the story through the slow sections and help create a fascinating, well-researched look at the ATA and the “glamour girls” who helped win the war.