Monday, November 4, 2013

Book Review: Derby Dames by Tara Chevrestt

It’s the Women’s Air Derby of 1929 and four women all want one thing: to win.

For Angeline Miller, it’s one last hurrah before she finally takes that leap into motherhood, but will her husband be waiting on the other side of the finish line?

For Penelope Burns, it’s a chance to stick it to her patronizing husband and win her son’s pride and affection back—she hopes.

Veronica Truman just wants to make her ailing mother proud.

Nancy Devine, Hollywood starlet and diva, wants to be the next Lady Lindy of the Air...and will pay any price.

One week, a group of very determined and capable women pilots, sabotage, and fate comes together. Who will fly to success? Who will "crash and burn"? And what awaits them in Cleveland, Ohio?

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Tara Chevrestt is a deaf woman, former aviation mechanic, dog mom, writer, and editor. You’ll never see her without her Kindle or a book within reach. As a child, she would often take a flashlight under the covers to finish the recent Nancy Drew novel when she was supposed to be sleeping.
Tara is addicted to Law & Order: SVU, has a crush on Cary Grant, laughs at her own jokes, and is constantly modifying recipes and experimenting in the kitchen. Her theme is Strong is Sexy. She writes about strong women facing obstacles—in the military, with their handicaps, or just learning to accept themselves. Her heroines can stand alone and take care of themselves, but they often find love in the process.

My Thoughts 

Derby Dames is the sequel to Ride for Rights. This book finds Angeline, one of the sisters who rode motor bikes cross county, looking for one last thrill before motherhood. She joins the women's Air Derby along with historical figures like Amelia Eearhart and Marvell Crossen.  Even the fictional characters are based on real women who were part of the derby, which you can learn more about in the author's notes at the end.  The story follows closely with the real events of the derby, though elaborated for the sake of making the story more interesting. You follow each aviatrix as they experience excitement, fear, and sabotage. I loved all the characters in this story. Angeline has the same charm and spunk that she did in Ride for Rights, but there were some new women whose personalities were fun and colorful. I loved the cigar smoking Penelope and how she threw oranges at her husband's church, but each of the characters were well developed and all were based on real women even though their names were changed. You'll feel like you're riding beside the flyers as they race through the air, overcoming wing-eating cows, dog fights in the sky, and the constant challenge to prove their equality to men. Derby Dames is a wonderful historical novel with an original feminist voice and a unique storyline.


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