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‘The Wild Air’ by Rebecca Mascull

Earlier this month, Rebecca Mascull had a book launch for her new book, ‘The Wild Air’ which was published on the 4th May 2017 by Hodder & Stoughton. The event took place at Waterstones Piccadilly, London, which as I’m sure many of you will know is absolutely huge. Rebecca ran a competition on social media giving people the chance to win an invitation to her book launch. I adored her last book, ‘Song of the Sea Maid’ and had high hopes for ‘The Wild Air’ too so I entered. I was delighted when Rebecca chose me as one of the winners.

The book launch went really well. Lots of people turned up and Rebecca’s lovely mum did labels for everyone which I thought was really sweet. Rebecca is as nice as I imagined her to be and her daughter is adorable and must have been so proud of her mum. There were drinks, canapes and cakes aplenty.

Louisa Treger hosted the event and asked Rebecca several questions about ‘The Wild Air’. Rebecca then told us how she went up in a plane as part of her research and introduced us to Rob Millinship the pilot who was of great assistance to her whilst she was writing the book.

It really was a great evening and it was a privilege to be there.

Thanks Rebecca. xx

 

My Review

I was delighted when I found out that Rebecca Mascull had a new book coming out and was very kindly sent a proof copy of ‘The Wild Air’ to review.

It’s 1909 in Edwardian England. Aeroplanes are a new and magical invention and female pilots are almost unheard of.

When shy Della Dobbs meets her mother’s aunt little does she realise that her life is about to change forever. Great Auntie Betty has returned home from living in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, across whose windswept dunes the Wright Brothers tested their historic flying machines. Della spends hours listening to Auntie Betty’s tales and finds that she is fascinated and wants to learn more. She decides that she wants to learn how to fly and Betty is determined to help her as much as she can. But the Great War is coming and it threatens to destroy everything and everyone in Della’s path.

Wow! I loved everything about ‘The Wild Air’ including the cover. Rebecca Mascull writes historical fiction and she does it very well indeed. I really took my time with this book as I wanted to savour it from start to finish. So much was packed into each and every chapter. I came away feeling as if I had learnt loads. The descriptions throughout were truly wonderful. I could almost see Della flying the aeroplanes.

Rebecca always has a lead female character in her books, each of them a heroine in their own right. I warmed to Della straightaway. She was a very determined young lady and I just knew that she would follow her heart and do what was right for her. In those days women pilots were frowned upon. Della ran into a few difficulties whilst flying and could easily have given up her dream, but she tended to brush things off and carry on regardless. When the Great War started it of course had a huge impact on Della and her family, but out of it actually came quite a lot of good too.

I adored Auntie Betty and wouldn’t have minded sitting and listening to her tales myself. It seems she came along at just the right time. Who knows where Della would be otherwise.

At the end of the book Rebecca has written a very interesting and detailed Author’s Note. If you read ‘The Wild Air’ do remember not to miss this section out as it gives you a lot of insight into the research undertaken and what it involved.

‘The Wild Air’ is a truly remarkable story and is a must read for fans of historical fiction. I will treasure my signed hardback copy.

I give this book 5 out of 5.

 

About Rebecca Mascull

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. Visit her website rebeccamascull.tumblr.com.

 

‘The Wild Air’ is available to buy from Amazon UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Wild-Air-Rebecca-Mascull/dp/1473604435/ref=sr_1_1_twi_har_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1496259354&sr=1-1&keywords=the+wild+air

 

‘Wake’ by Anna Hope

Wake

‘Wake’ is Anna Hope’s debut novel and it was published by Doubleday on 16th January 2014.  I was very kindly sent a proof copy to review by Alison Barrow at Transworld.

This story is set in November 1920 and it takes place over five days.  The body of an unknown soldier begins his journey home from France to be greeted by mourners at the Cenotaph.  In the meantime three women are each overcoming the aftermath of the war in their own way.  They all have a story to tell.  These women are strangers to each other, they’ve never met but in one way or the other they are connected.

Hettie dances for a living at the Hammersmith Palais earning sixpence a waltz.  Evelyn comes from a rich family but chooses to work in the Pensions Office.  Ada is a housewife who hasn’t got over the death of her son and keeps catches glimpses of him in the street.  As each woman struggles to move on with their lives, a shocking wartime mystery begins to unravel.

I knew from the very first page that I was going to enjoy ‘Wake’.  I found myself wanting to savour every single minute of this wonderful novel and ended up taking my time to read it.  Beautifully written, Anna Hope has done a very good job of portraying what life must have been like in those days and just how horrific the war was.

This year marks the 100th anniversary since the Great War began and this incredible story is a very fitting tribute.  I think ‘Wake’ would make a very good TV drama.

I hope there will be more books from Anna Hope soon.

I give this book 5 out of 5.

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