“Secrets of Flight” by Maggie Leffler was a surprise novel for me. I wasn’t enamored of the book at the beginning, but as I read further I found that I was drawn in to the story of Mary Browning. Knowing that at her age anything could happen and compelled to tell her story, she hires a young writer to write her biography. The secrets and actions of her past show how society’s prejudices can change a person’s outlook on their heritage and cause chaos in their life. Mary is not who she seems. Secrets abound and the results of those secrets are sad. But Mary has some surprises coming yet and you will want to read until the very end to find the forgiveness and happiness that Mary finds.
This captivating, breakout novel—told in alternating viewpoints—brings readers from the skies of World War II to the present day, where a woman is prepared to tell her secrets at last.
Estranged from her family since just after World War II, Mary Browning has spent her entire adult life hiding from her past. Now eighty-seven years old and a widow, she is still haunted by secrets and fading memories of the family she left behind. Her one outlet is the writing group she’s presided over for a decade, though she’s never written a word herself. When a new member walks in—a fifteen-year-old girl who reminds her so much of her beloved sister Sarah—Mary is certain fate delivered Elyse Strickler to her for a reason.
Mary hires the serious-eyed teenager to type her story about a daring female pilot who, during World War II, left home for the sky and gambled everything for her dreams—including her own identity.
As they begin to unravel the web of Mary’s past, Mary and Elyse form an unlikely friendship. Together they discover it’s never too late for second chances and that sometimes forgiveness is all it takes for life to take flight in the most unexpected ways.