I received a copy of Maiden Flight free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This did not change my opinion of the book.
After reading Crossing the Horizon earlier this year, I found myself ready to do some more exploring into the people involved in the early days of flight. Maiden Flight turned out to be the perfect opportunity to dig in further.
Katherine Wright, the sister of Wilbur and Orville, was famous in her own right, but her story is one I had never heard before. After spending most of her life caring for her family, Katherine found romance with a friend from her college days. But her happiness would have a profound impact on her formerly very close relationship with her bother, Orville.
This story is told from three different viewpoints, Katherine, her brother Orville, and reporter Harry Haskell, which I thought at first would be a struggle. I was pleasantly surprised to find that Harry Haskell (grandson of the Harry Haskell in the story) did an amazing job creating three distinct voices. The meticulous research really paid off. It didn’t take long to “hear” each of three as individuals as I read.
I usually find a historical fiction book pretty successful if it sends me scurrying off to find more information. I did this several times while I was reading. It turns out my knowledge of the accomplishments of the Wrights was woefully inadequate, but this gave me ample opportunity to brush up. You by no means need to be an expert to enjoy the book, but a little background knowledge helps make the story easier to follow.
For me, this wasn’t a book to settle in and get buried it. I don’t mean that it wasn’t good, but, it was more a book to take slowly, little bits at a time. While my usual reading style is to binge read, it was a nice change of pace. Since it is not totally chronological, that made it easier to do just that. It is written more in the way that people think, not just a straight narrative. While that did take a little getting used to, it made for a pleasant reading experience.
While Maiden Flight didn’t totally knock my socks off, it was still a book I can recommend. Katherine Wright is definitely a figure I’m glad I was able to get to know. Take note! For all you romance lovers out there, while this book does have romance, it is decidedly “G” rated. Take that for what you will.