The Lady in the Spitfire
Helena P. Schrader
Reviewed by Paige Lovitt for Reader Views (12/06)
“The Lady in the Spitfire” was written by Helena
Schrader who has a PhD in history. She
incorporates her research on women pilots during WWII into this great
fictional story. Schrader’s
knowledge of this era allows her to richly describe what is happening
at the time. This includes the
attitude of men towards women, the differences between the American and
British cultures, and the
fashion of the time. Even though it is fiction, I learned a lot. In her
writings, Schrader gave me a
thought of food for thought. I did not know that women were allowed to
be pilots at this time,
anywhere. These women had to fight really hard for respect.
Emily lost her husband Robin when his plane is shot down over Germany.
His death was never
confirmed, so she couldn’t really be sure if he was really
gone or not. She is a RAF pilot with the Air
Transport Auxiliary unit. When American Lt. Jay Baronowsky almost
crashes into her while they are
both trying to land their planes, she meets him and her interest is
peaked. He is engaged to a high
maintenance snob back in the states. The fiancé has no clue
about what Jay has to deal with while at
war. She is more interested in trivial matters like selecting china
patterns for her wedding. Jay is
very intrigued with Emily, as a pilot she understands the dangers that
he has to deal with everyday.
Emily wants a friendship but no more than that because she still
hasn’t come to terms with what
happened to Robin. In spite of her wishes, the chemistry between the
two is impossible to avoid. Jay
and Emily begin a real relationship and fall in love. They have to deal
with a lot of issues and
hardships along the way.
“The Lady in the Spitfire” is a great love story.
Like real life, things don’t always turn out the way
that we want them to, but the lessons learned along the way are
important. Schrader has a talent for
richly blending real history into her story so that you believe that it
is all real. I highly recommend
this book to WWII history buffs and romance fans.