Thank You to Gallery Books for providing me with an advanced copy of Laurie Notaro's, Crossing the Horizon, in exchange for an honest review.
PLOT - Through research, including interviews with family members, Laurie Notaro, tells the true story of three fearless women, who in the 1920's attempted to become the first female to fly across the Atlantic. The women include :
Ruth Elder, an young Alabama native, who used her winnings as a beauty contestant to pay for flying lessons. Ruth's charm managed to capture the attention of investors, who paid for her plane, "American Girl" and backed her attempt to cross the Atlantic with her flight instructor.
Elsie Mackay, the daughter of a British Earl, who had to hide her flying scheme from her family and the press. She used her wealth to pay for a WW1 ace fighter pilot to teach her to fly and accompany her on the voyage. Like Ruth, Elsie had a true passion for aviation.
Mabel Boll, a rich and gregarious socialite with a dubious background. Although she had no interest in actually flying a plane, she hoped to garner fame for being a passenger.
LIKE- As readers of my blog and reviews already know, I'm a huge Laurie Notaro fan, but this is a departure from her usual non-fiction humor books. I'm so happy that she tried something new, Crossing the Horizon was absolutely enthralling. Driving my husband nuts, I basically refused to put the book down until I had finished it. I just had to know what was going to happen, this is a page-turner.
I had not heard of Elder, Mackay, or Bolls previous to reading Crossing the Horizon, and truly, I didn't know much about early aviation. This lack of knowledge, kept the story suspenseful and me, glued to my seat. There were moments where I was holding my breath reading, the excitement too much to take. It's an intense story. I loved reading about aviation fever, and the way the press and public were clamoring for stories about these early pioneers.
What works best is the strong personalities of the three main characters. Elder and Mackay are adventurers, with passion and charisma. I wanted to see either of them succeed. I liked the contrast in their backgrounds, Elder from a poor small town in America, and Mackay from an immense wealthy British family. Bolls, while not necessarily likable, is highly entertaining. She's a large than life personality, the kind of person you wouldn't want to have as a dinner guest ( she'd drink all of your best champagne and smash the crystal!), but who you'd want to hear the latest gossip. All three of these women are vibrant, with fascinating stories.
DISLIKE- Not a single thing. I enjoyed the ride start to finish. If anything, I was left wanting more. I'd love to see Crossing the Horizon turned into a documentary or film.
RECOMMEND- Yes!!! Crossing the Horizon is one of the best books of 2016. It will make you long to learn more about the early years of aviation. Notaro is a masterful storyteller. This book will grab you!