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December 4, 2022

We Fly Beneath the Stars by Suzanne Kelman ~ a Review

by Susan Roberts


1942, Europe: Based on the true story of a female-only bomber battalion, this is a totally heartbreaking and unforgettable story about sacrifice, sisterhood and a love that transcends war.

Amazon affiliate links are used on this site. A free book was provided for an honest review.

book cover of historical fiction novel We Fly Beneath the Stars by Suzanne Kelman
November 2022; Bookouture; 978-1803143828
audio, ebook, print (374 pages); historical fiction

We Fly Beneath the Stars
 is another World War II story about a little-known subject -  The Night Witches who helped Russia win the air war.  Who were these Night Witches? They were the all-women pilots of Russia’s 588th Night Bomber Aviation Regiment.    The Night Witches were the first women military pilots in the 20th century to directly engage an enemy in combat.   All the members of the 588th were women, including the navigators, ground crews, and support staff.

Sisters Tasha and Nadia lived with their grandmother in a small town in Russia.  Nadia is the older sister and is quiet and sensible and plans to marry a Communist party official.  Tasha has been in love with Luca since they met as children.  She is impetuous and often reckless.  When Luca signs up to go in the army to fight the Germans, she's distraught and decides to follow him.  When he is less than thrilled that she showed up, she impulsively goes to a meeting about female pilots and how they can help in the war.  She signs up for the new program on a whim and is sent away to training camp.  When she left home, she left nothing but a note and her sister Nadia decides that she has to find Tasha and bring her home.  When she finds out about the female pilot program, she decides to join too.  Her husband is in the army and she knows that she can do more to help Russia than just staying at home and being a housewife.   When Nadia first shows up at training camp, Tasha is angry.  She's been compared to her older sister for all of her life and was looking forward to being a success at something on her own.  They eventually reconcile and realize how important they are to each other.  On a night fight, Tasha impulsively decides to look for Luca's downed plane behind enemy lines.  She ends up crashing her plane and both sisters are taken to a German concentration camp.  Life in the camp is brutal and they both believe that they will never see their home again.  Will the two sisters be able to survive the brutal treatment in the camp and go home or will one sister have to sacrifice everything to save the other?

Tasha and Nadia were both brave beyond words.  Every night, along with the rest of the female pilots, they put their lives on the line to bomb German targets.  At first, they were made fun of by the male pilots and underestimated by the male officers.  By the end of the war, these Night Witches had flown somewhere in the vicinity of 30,000 bombing raids, delivering around 23,000 tons of munitions on Nazi targets, and became a crucial Soviet asset in winning World War II.

This well-researched novel will make you smile and make you cry while you learn about a little-known group of brave women who helped the Allies win the war.  It's a novel about sisterhood - both by blood and the people who mean the most to you - bravery and resilience and it's a story that you won't soon forget.

(Kindle Unlimited subscribers can read the ebook for FREE)


Susan Roberts grew up in Michigan but loves the laid-back life at her home in the Piedmont area of North Carolina where she is two hours from the beach to the east and the mountains in the west.  She reads almost anything but her favorite genres are Southern Fiction and Historical Fiction.  You can connect with her on Facebook.



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