Grace Lafferty is a wing walker after the Great War and she’s determined to get to the World Aviation Expo, prove her scrappy team’s worth, and earn a coveted Hollywood contract.
Henry Patton, a Great War veteran and mechanic, joins her barnstorming team and he questions her ambition, but Grace continues her test of the powers of the sky despite her attraction to Henry and others’ urging.
In the end, Grace must decide what she’s willing to risk for one final trick.
I really enjoyed this one. Historical fiction is such a rare commodity just because I know a lot of people are not ready to go to that extra degree of intensive research.
I personally have grown bored of the 1800s etiquette and novels (Sorry, Jane Austen) and have moved my attentions to other periods in history, post World War I as one of these.
I could definitely see how much effort Trueblood put into shaping the era of this novel and it made the time period so vivid and rich for the reader. It definitely wasn’t one of America’s brightest moments in history, but it was like you, the reader, were plopped in that time period experiencing that thrill of sneaking alcohol.
It’s a time period some people aren’t too familiar with, but I think Trueblood did a great job of establishing the setting and customs without being too lush or descriptive.
I also thought that Grace was an admirable woman and her personal character growth, although not as easily detectable for most of the novel until the end, was a good story and a good lesson learned. She becomes a better person by the end yet still keeps her independence and ambition–the modern woman truly can have it all.
There were a few things I wasn’t too peachy-keen on just with plot. The “government” was an antagonist for a good section of the novel and sometimes it almost felt like the government was a caricature–that’s literally the only way anyone addressed an aviation regulation department, and I would have liked it to go more into how the people who work for the government aren’t necessarily as evil as the government.
This idea of the government was just a little too simplified in my opinion.
Despite this, the other antagonists had a nice sort of redemption arc and I enjoyed reading about them because they didn’t feel as cartoon-villain-y as the “government” did.
Also, for a large part of the novel, it did feel like not a lot was happening and all the characters were trying to do was get more money so they could finally get to that aviation expo Grace had been dreaming of.
Things definitely got a lot spicier at the end, but the beginning was a little slow for me even though there was a solid amount of character interaction and buildup.
I also thought the action scenes were a little short and not as thrilling as they could have been. It felt like they were over with one flip of the ebook page, but I wanted my heart to be pounding and Grace participated in death-defying tricks. I wanted to be scared and short of breath as I hoped she was okay.
I didn’t really get that and although it keeps some of the mood, I was kind of expecting a little more excitement in the novel.
But one of the things I really loved was the portrayal of PTSD in this book. Henry and a couple others, like one of Grace’s friends, experience this and it’s depicted in the novel very nicely. I can’t comment on the realistic nature of this, but I did think this was executed well and was not only interesting and tactful, but helpful for the reader to understand what a lot of people from that time were going through.
Overall, I really enjoyed Trueblood’s debut, Nothing But Sky, as it is a well-written slice of what life was like after the Great War, as well as an overall entertaining and interesting novel. I would definitely recommend to those looking for historical fiction from less-written about time periods!
Have you read any books from this time period? If so, which ones?