Title: Her Last Flight
Author: Beatriz Williams
Published: June 2020, William Morrow
Format: Hardcover, 400 pages
Source: Publisher via TLC BookTours
In 1947, photographer
and war correspondent Janey Everett arrives at a remote surfing village
on the Hawaiian island of Kauai to research a planned biography of
forgotten aviation pioneer Sam Mallory, who joined the loyalist forces
in the Spanish Civil War and never returned. Obsessed with Sam’s fate,
Janey has tracked down Irene Lindquist, the owner of a local
island-hopping airline, whom she believes might actually be the
legendary Irene Foster, Mallory’s onetime student and flying partner.
Foster’s disappearance during a round-the-world flight in 1937 remains
one of the world’s greatest unsolved mysteries.
At first, the
flinty Mrs. Lindquist denies any connection to Foster. But Janey informs
her that the wreck of Sam Mallory’s airplane has recently been
discovered in a Spanish desert, and piece by piece, the details of
Foster’s extraordinary life emerge: from the beginnings of her flying
career in Southern California, to her complicated, passionate
relationship with Mallory, to the collapse of her marriage to her
aggressive career manager, the publishing scion George Morrow.
Irene spins her tale to its searing conclusion, Janey’s past gathers
its own power. The duel between the two women takes a heartstopping
turn. To whom does Mallory rightfully belong? Can we ever come to terms
with the loss of those we love, and the lives we might have lived?
My thoughts: It’s no big secret that I am a huge fan of Beatriz Williams’ books. I love nothing more than getting lost in her stories. There is just
something about her books – they are the perfect blend of historical
fiction, compelling characters and fantastic writing that bring me back
time and again. I just can’t get enough of this perfect combination!!!
With each book I read by this author, I realize just how talented she really is and with this latest book, she really shines here. The way this book is crafted, and how it all comes together at the end – just pure brilliance! While I know that most historical fiction tends to be more of a slower burn – and I am all for that and enjoy it all the more because of that – this one kept me glued to the pages right from the start and never let up. Yes, it was still on the slow side, but the story captivated me to keep reading so that I felt like I flew through it.
I loved how the book moved back and forth between Janey’s book about Sam Mallory and Janey’s firsthand view. It kept it so interesting and I loved all the characters that we meet along the way – they were all so dynamic and well-drawn, as I have come to expect from a Beatriz Williams novel.
This book slowly reveals all it’s secrets at just the right moments and I have to say I was pleasantly surprised by some of them. But even more than that are the two strong women that this book showcases. This was probably my favorite part of the book. These two women were so similar, working in male dominated fields, not willing to cower to their counterpoints. I loved that message.
I loved this book, as I have all of Beatriz Williams’ books and I’m always so bummed when I finish them because I have to wait so long until the next one. If you haven’t read anything by this author, you are definitely missing out.