Crossing the Horizon (Laurie Notaro)

I received a copy of Crossing the Horizon free from the publisher (via Netgalley) in exchange for an honest review. This, however, did not change my opinion of the book.

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Image via Simon and Schuster.

It’s 1927. Charles Lindbergh has recently become a media sensation by completing the first transatlantic flight. Now, the race is on to be the first woman to make the crossing. This story takes a look at three very different and fascinating women who are all hoping to take the crown: Elsie Mackay, daughter of an Earl and the first Englishwoman to receive her pilot’s license; Ruth Elder, who uses her winnings from a beauty pageant to take flying lessons; and Mabel Boll, glamorous society widow who hopes the trip will be her claim to fame.

While I’ve always loved books set in the 1920’s, I was a little bit unsure about one focusing on aviation history. I’ve never really found myself all that interested in the early days of flight. Or the history of flight at all. I knew about Charles Lindbergh (a bit) and that Amelia Earhart was the first woman to accomplish the flight, but beyond that I was clueless. This book, however, changed my mind. It was truly wonderful. Crossing the Horizon was clearly well researched and painted a vivid picture of these three women, their world, and the people around them.

I particularly loved the fact that there were pictures included. When reading historical fiction books, I often find myself seeking out pictures on the primary players on my own. While it’s not really a necessity, I found their inclusion to be a nice touch. Obviously this is a fictionalized account based on real events, but the pictures made it all so much more real, taking these from mere characters, to living, breathing people.

Even without the pictures, I think this would have been a really standout book. Knowing that none of these women were going to be the record holder didn’t take anything away for me. I was hooked and could not wait to find out what happened next. With such brilliantly illustrated characters, I was completely sucked in, anxious to see how their stories would turn out. It’s not a short book, but I was so engrossed it did not take long to finish it.

I cannot recommend this book enough.  There is tragedy, humor and a solid dose of girl power. These were all ladies determined to take charge of their own destinies and Laurie Notaro has told their stories beautifully. This is definitely a book I will be rereading. You can pick up your own copy on October 4 or pre-order it now!