*If you are new here, WELCOME! For The Flight Girls, I provide your book club with a brief summary, food ideas, and discussion questions in that order!
If you’ve read your fair share of WWII novels, you may think there isn’t anything new in the genre, but have you read any stories about the WASP? That is, the Women Airforce Service Pilots.
While they never saw combat, they paved the way for women in the Airforce and female pilots everywhere. I’m lucky enough to live near the National WASP museum and have visited and studied these courageous women.
Their story is fascinating and in Noelle Salazar’s debut, The Flight Girls, we get a picture of all they endured and accomplished. The novel follows one fictional WASP, Audrey Coltrane, as she experiences Pearl Harbor, signs up for service, and flies (literally) through the years of the war.
Mixed into the historical details is a story of female friendship among the WASP and a blooming romance with a Lieutenant.
If you’ve read plenty of WWII fiction set in Europe, try this unique novel set in WWII America.
I’ve provided book club questions and delicious food ideas for The Flight Girls, so if you are looking for book club ideas and more, keep reading!
Check out these fun bookish gadgets…
Here’s a brief summary of The Flight Girls:
From the Publisher: “1941. Audrey Coltrane has always wanted to fly. It’s why she implored her father to teach her at the little airfield back home in Texas. It’s why she signed up to train military pilots in Hawaii when the war in Europe began. And it’s why she insists she is not interested in any dream-derailing romantic involvements, even with the disarming Lieutenant James Hart, who fast becomes a friend as treasured as the women she flies with. Then one fateful day, she gets caught in the air over Pearl Harbor just as the bombs begin to fall, and suddenly, nowhere feels safe.
To make everything she’s lost count for something, Audrey joins the Women Airforce Service Pilots program. The bonds she forms with her fellow pilots reignite a spark of hope in the face war, and—when James goes missing in action—give Audrey the strength to cross the front lines and fight not only for her country, but for the love she holds so dear.”
For The Flight Girls Food Ideas:
There’s plenty of food mentioned in The Flight Girls. From the mess hall to dates on the town, the characters find more than enough opportunity to share a meal. Hopefully you can find something in this list to create for your book club!
Here are a few of the food ideas from the pages of The Flight Girls:
- Chapter 4 – Audrey runs into Lieutenant Hart at the movies then they go for dinner -popcorn and M&Ms then beer and steaks
- Chapter 5 – Thanksgiving and a trip to the airfield for a nightcap with Lieutenant Hart – chocolate dipped shortbread cookies
- Chapter 8 – After the bombing the Lieutenant, Audrey and Claire eat ham and cheese sandwiches at Claire’s
- Chapter 13 – Breakfast the first morning at Avenger field – scrambled eggs, bacon and toast
- Chapter 18 – Christmas at Avenger field – A turkey dinner with mashed potatoes and gravy and a stolen pie, then a breakfast of pancakes
- Chapter 20- Dinner with Officer Wilson at his aunt’s house – pasta, salad, wine and chocolate cake
- Chapter 27 – The girls bring food back from the mess hall to cheer up Audrey – sweet potato pie, oatmeal cookies, chicken, roasted potatoes, and cake
- Chapter 31 – Audrey stays in Paris – scones and fresh baked bread
If I were choosing, I would likely create an airplane-shaped, chocolate dipped shortbread cookie for my group! Check out this recipe from Betty Crocker!
And don’t forget the airplane cookie cutter!
Whether you choose something from this list or try your own option, I hope these food ideas will get your creative juices flowing to host your book club for The Flight Girls!
The Flight Girls Book Club Questions:
*WARNING: May contain spoilers!
- Did you know about the Women Airforce Service Pilots before reading the book? Share any tidbits you know that weren’t illuminated in the novel.
- The novel follows Audrey from the beginning of the war until the end. Which part of what she saw and endured was most interesting to you? Why?
- What did you think about Lieutenant Hart? Did you ever doubt his feelings for Audrey? Why do you think she struggled so much, even knowing the trauma he must be facing?
- Who was your favorite WASP besides Audrey in the book?
- Did it surprise you to see such a varied cast of WASP? Did you have a certain image of the type of woman who would risk her life flying in the 1940s before you read the novel?
- As the war slowed and men returned home, the WASP were disbanded to free up jobs for men. Given little recognition or direction, many women returned home to start families. How did you feel about the way the WASP were treated? Do you think, given the times, it could have gone any differently?
- What did you think of Officer Wilson? Did you ever think Audrey really liked him? What good characteristics did he have, if any?
- Despite questioning James’ feelings for her for so long, Audrey decides to travel to Paris soon after the war ends to look for him. Were you surprised that she would put herself in such danger and leave her airfield behind?
- Do you know of any other little known war efforts spearheaded by women? Discuss some and any novels you might have read on the topics.
- How did this compare to other WWII novels you’ve read? Did you enjoy reading a story about women who served in the war?
Have you read The Flight Girls? What did you think? Did it satisfy you or were you left wishing for more? What are some similar books you’ve read?
Until next time, Happy Reading!
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Bookish gifts for you or your reader friends!