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Review: "Her Last Flight" | Reviewed by Joan Kletzker

Updated: Aug 1, 2020

“Her Last Flight,” by Beatriz Williams, is a historical novel about the early days of air flight. It moves back and forth from 1937 to 1947.

Sam Mallory is a pilot, a true aviation pioneer. He barnstormed, flew in air shows and got injured more times than naught. Eventually, he leaves to join the loyalist forces in the Spanish Civil War in the 1930s. He never returns and his fate was never determined.

Irene Lindquist runs a small, local island-hopping airline in Hawaii. She lives quietly and privately with her family.

Janey Everett is a photojournalist who plans to write a biography about Sam Mallory. In her research, Janey tracks down Irene and goes to Hawaii for further research. Janey has a hunch that Irene Lindquist is really Irene Foster, the legendary flying partner of Sam Mallory. In 1937, Irene Foster disappears in a round-the-world flight. The mystery was never solved.

Initially, Irene denies all connections to Irene Foster. But Janey informs Irene that Sam’s plane has been discovered in a Spanish desert—startling information to say the least. Bit by bit, piece by piece, Foster’s extraordinary life is revealed.

Janey has her own story to tell too. There are puzzles of uncertainty about some things she has said and done.

Janey, as narrator, is a little cheeky and gives the story a humorous, playful tone. The book drags for a little bit in the middle, but picks up speed as the story proceeds, and concludes with some interesting twists. The characters are interesting and plausible, as is the history of another era.

We forget that the early days of flying were very dangerous and life threatening. There is mystery, romance and excitement to “Her Last Flight,” an enjoyable read.

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