About the Book
In Edwardian England, aeroplanes are a new, magical invention, while female pilots are rare indeed.
When shy Della Dobbs meets her mother’s aunt, her life changes forever. Great Auntie Betty has come home from Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, across whose windswept dunes the Wright Brothers tested their historic flying machines. Della develops a burning ambition to fly and Betty is determined to help her.
But the Great War is coming and it threatens to destroy everything – and everyone – Della loves.
Uplifting and page-turning, THE WILD AIR is a story about love, loss and following your dreams against all odds.
The Wild Air is a wonderful novel, it drew me in from the prologue and had me captivated right through to the final page. This is the story of Cordelia (Della) Dobbs who knows that her place in life is to help her mother until such a time that she marries and has children of her own to raise. Della loves cycling and mending her bike and is fascinated by how things work. So when her Great-Auntie Betty arrives from America and introduces Della to kite flying and later aeroplanes it seems her life might be about to change beyond all recognition.
This book is so much about female ambition and determination and I loved that: from feisty, no-nonsense Great-Auntie Betty to her niece Della whose quiet desire to fly planes slowly becomes a real possibility. I so enjoyed seeing Della’s confidence slowly grow – it was lovely to see her find her voice, to begin to tentatively step forward and ask for what she wanted, to stand her ground. Even Della’s mum quietly admits to a long ago desire to achieve in a man’s world but it was something that she just couldn’t push ahead with. It means she has a real understanding of her daughter’s desire to achieve her dream though and she’s always very supportive of Della.
I’ve always been interested in the history around women pilots – I grew up near Hull so was always fascinated by Amy Johnson. Della felt like a real person to me, I absolutely believed in her – her sheer joy of flying planes just shines throughout this book and I was rooting for her all the way. It’s hard to imagine just how difficult it must have been for women in the Edwardian era to find a way into such a male-dominated arena. Della is referred to by one newspaper man as ‘little Della Dobbs’, which is so demeaning for an adult woman who is accomplishing so much in her field. It was also totally believable but still really quite shocking that some of the women who came to see Della were less than impressed with her achievements and were more interested in ‘the arrangements for [her] undercarriage’ – i.e. whether she still wore a corset! I really enjoyed reading about this obviously very well-researched time in history and about the women who paved the way for women pilots like Amy Johnson.
I have to mention one of the male characters in this book too. I loved Dud, he is such a great man and I loved his gentle nature and his enthusiasm for Della’s ambition to be a pilot. He believed in her from the day he saw her flying a kite and he never waivered in his belief in her. It was hard to read about what happened to him during the war, but again this was so beautifully and sensitively written – it really moved me.
The writing in this book is so beautiful and very evocative. My heart was in my mouth as Della gets her first taste of flying – I swear I could hear the propellers and could taste the engine oil. I was holding my breath as I willed her to get it right, to show the men on the ground exactly what she was made of. The moment she feels the wind in her hair for the first time, I could have been up there with her. The sheer magical joy just emanates from the page, it’s fabulous!
Rebecca Mascull really evokes what it was like to live in an era where flying was new and scary and exciting. This novel brought to life the way it must have felt to people to see these flying machines for the first time, and then for people to see female pilots in a time when women were expected to marry and raise a family, and not to have ambitions to have a career in any way equal to a man. The Wild Air is a beautiful, captivating novel and I highly recommend it.
I received a copy of this book from Hodder via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
The Wild Air is due to be published on 4th May by Hodder & Stoughton and can be pre-ordered now.
About the Author
Rebecca Mascull is the author of THE VISITORS and SONG OF THE SEA MAID. She has previously worked in education, has a Masters in Writing and lives by the sea in the east of England.
(Bio taken from: Hodder)
You can follow the rest of the blog tour at the blogs below:
23 thoughts on “#BookReview: The Wild Air by Rebecca Mascull #blogtour @rebeccamascull @HodderBooks”
It sounds like this book has everything to be a good one 🙂 I love the excitement of flying at that time, the place of women and their ambition and the fact a man believed in Della. We often only get the two different sides fighting, so it’s good to see some men were ready to see the change happening. Fabulous review!
It’s a gorgeous novel, I think you’d enjoy it. Thanks so much 🙂 xx
I love the sound of this one.It seems like the author did a great job with portraying the events at the time with all the excitements around.Defintely one for my TBR.Great review!
Thanks so much 🙂 It really is a wonderful novel, I loved and it and highly recommend it.
Sounds great! I’ll be looking out for this one. I too enjoy reading about female pilots!
I think you’ll really enjoy this one then – the descriptions of flying are breathtaking. Real-life pilots are mentioned within the novel too, which I really loved. It’s such a fascinating time in history, isn’t it?
What an interesting subject and context for the book! And it seems that the writing style is quite skilled, too. That’s great. Glad you enjoyed it so well.
It’s a wonderful book, I loved it from start to finish.
I didn’t have room to join the blog tour for this one and it’s such a shame as it sounds such an inspiring book. I’m definitely going to pick it up!
It’s a shame you couldn’t take part in the blog tour, but it’s definitely worth getting the book as it’s a wonderful read. Hope you get a chance to read it soon and that you’ll love it as much as I did.
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Check out the book, The Wild Air, by Rebecca Mascull, as it makes a blog tour stop on the Rather Too Fond of Books blog
This sounds delightful!
It really is – everything about the book is wonderful and I highly recommend it.
This sounds like such an uplifting and inspiring title with some beautiful character growth! Your review is wonderful 🙂
It really is such a wonderful book – I highly recommend it. Thank you so much 🙂
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Lovely review 🙂 and a very interesting topic.
Thank you 🙂 I adored the book, I highly recommend it.
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