I am normally not a huge fan of historic fiction (in the sense that I rarely pick it up) but this book really took me by surprise!
Nothing but Sky by Amy Trueblood
rty only feels alive when she’s dangling 500 feet above ground. As a post-World War I wing walker, Grace is determined to get to the World Aviation Expo, proving her team’s worth against flashier competitors and earning a coveted Hollywood contract.
No one’s ever questioned Grace’s ambition until Henry Patton, a mechanic with plenty of scars from the battlefield, joins her barnstorming team. With each new death-defying trick, Henry pushes Grace to consider her reasons for being a daredevil. Annoyed with Henry’s constant interference, and her growing attraction to him, Grace continues to test the powers of the sky.
After one of her risky maneuvers saves a pilot’s life, a Hollywood studio offers Grace a chance to perform at the Expo. She jumps at the opportunity to secure her future. But when a stunt goes wrong, Grace must decide whether Henry, and her life, are worth risking for one final trick.
The story follows Grace, who is a wingwalker, which means she does tricks on airplane wings while it’s in the air. I was immediately impressed by her daring but also by her character. She is, in many ways, ahead of her time. WWI just ended and wingwalking is not exactly the most common job for a young woman to have. But despite everything, she still gets on that plane, because she wants to and she loves it. She’s strong, independent and fierce and I loved that about her.
“Men loved to use their height to try and intimidate me. It happened at shows across the nation. Whether they wanted an autograph, a photo, or just a chance to show their distaste for the life I’d chosen, it was a tactic that never worked. I battled rain, wind, and thunderstorms at 500 feet; men didn’t frighten me.”
Grace and her crew are trying to earn money participate in a competition, and I loved how the author showed this struggle within the team, but also showed the external struggles and the changing situation in the world. I loved the setting and how the author described it. I could dream away in cloudless blue skies, stuffy hangars, and cigar-smoke-filled bars and I loved it! It makes me want to pick up historical fiction more often!
“This life we’ve chosen is full of risk. Every day we go up into those clouds knowing there’s a chance we may not come down alive.”
A couple of other things I loved were the romance, which wasn’t take a huge part of the story but added to it really nicely and it was so adorable, and the plot twists: these were so well-done, I really didn’t see them coming.
“May your skies always be cloudless and blue, Grace.”
Overall, I’m giving this book 4.5 stars because it was just so much fun to read! I loved reading about Grace and her crew and all that they were going through. The writing was great and the story kept me really interested in the story at all times! I definitely recommend this book if you are a bit hesitant about picking up historic fiction (like me) but want to try to read more! And also for everyone who already loves historic fiction, of course!