Eyes turned skyward A novel

Alena Dillon

Book - 2022

"An empty nester and primary caretaker for her elderly, ailing mother inadvertently discovers that her mom was a Women Airforce Service Pilot who is now filled with regrets as she confronts the end of her life"--

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FICTION/Dillon Alena
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Historical fiction
New York, NY : William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers [2022]
Main Author
Alena Dillon (author)
First edition
Item Description
Includes "P.S. Insights, Interviews & More..."
Physical Description
370, 12 pages ; 21 cm
Contents unavailable.
Review by Booklist Review

This multigenerational WWII novel flies from mother's to daughter's point of view, revealing reverberations beyond each one's experience. In 2009, Kathy is reeling from her husband's job loss, which pushes her back into nursing, determined to support her family and continue her role as provider to all. Kathy and her three brothers were raised by a unpredictable mother, Peggy, who often carried herself with the grace and composure of a military wife but would occasionally explode with emotion. Kathy has taken on the burden of ensuring their matriarch's care with little support from her brothers. Back in 1943, Peggy soars, having worked for her family's crop-dusting business since the tender age of eight. But when war calls all to serve, Peggy is eager to prove herself as a Women Airforce Service Pilot under Jackie Cochran, the most impressive female pilot of the time. Separated by time but bound by blood, these women's lives unfold in a slow buildup of hope, anguish, and love that will appeal to history buffs and women's-fiction fans.

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Library Journal Review

Kathy Begley has always had a contentious relationship with her mother, Peggy Mayfield. As the youngest and the only girl of four boys, Kathy felt pressured by her mother to excel and to do something grand with her life. When Peggy calls Kathy to say that she has fallen and hurt herself, Kathy's world is shaken. As Kathy cares for Peggy, she begins to learn more about her mother, including a secret that Peggy hoped to keep hidden. Peggy, in 1943, is a young woman determined to become a Women Airforce Service Pilot (WASP). She makes quick friends with her fellow WASP trainees, and, in the program, finds purpose and the cure for the restlessness that had plagued her throughout her life. The narrative flips back and forth between Peggy fighting against sexism in the 1940s to Kathy fighting against her mother's stubbornness in 2009--10. As Peggy and Kathy heal old wounds, Kathy learns why her mother pushed her so hard and the reasons behind her mother's mercurial moods. VERDICT Readers seeking a nuanced portrayal of mother-daughter dynamics as well as a soaring portrait of courageous women during wartime will find much to love in Dillon's (The Happiest Girl in the World) latest.--Lynnanne Pearson

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