July 27, 2021
Blurb: Daisy Wilder prefers the company of horses to people, bare feet and salt water to high heels and society parties. Then, in the dizzying aftermath of the attack on Pearl Harbor, Daisy enlists in a top secret program, replacing male soldiers in a war zone for the first time. Under fear of imminent invasion, the WARDs guide pilots into blacked-out airstrips and track unidentified planes across Pacific skies.
But not everyone thinks the women are up to the job, and the new recruits must rise above their differences and work side by side despite the resistance and heartache they meet along the way. With America’s future on the line, Daisy is determined to prove herself worthy. And with the man she’s falling for out on the front lines, she cannot fail. From radar towers on remote mountaintops to flooded bomb shelters, she’ll need her new team when the stakes are highest. Because the most important battles are fought—and won—together.
This inspiring and uplifting tale of pioneering, unsung heroines vividly transports the reader to wartime Hawaii, where one woman’s call to duty leads her to find courage, strength and sisterhood.
Radar Girls by Sara Ackerman begins on a Sunday morning in Hawaii as Daisy Wilder rides her neighbor’s horse Moon to the beach so she can go diving for food to support her mother and her. However, a military dogfight occurs overhead, Moon runs off, and Sara is heartbroken for Moon and worried what is happening to her world-at-large.
Fired from her job at the stables for losing Moon, Daisy wonders how she’s going to make ends meet when she is invited to interview for a position in what turns out to be Women’s Air Raid Defense (WARD). Considering that she had to drop out of school to support her mother, Daisy figures she doesn’t have a chance, but she’s wrong. Quickly Daisy realizes she has an aptitude for the type of work that the WARDs will be asked to do. In addition, Daisy’s crush on the neighbor’s son who is now a pilot, Walker, blossoms as does her friendship with some of her colleagues. Daisy realizes how wonderful it is to have a group of friends who can mutually rely on each other.
I really enjoyed this historical women’s fiction novel set during World War II. Sara did a lot of research to make this an interesting and gripping read, although she came up a tad short on the women’s preference of beverage for the time. I never knew the WARDs existed despite having read quite a bit about WWII.
Daisy was an excellent character as were the others in her group, each going through their own issues as the novel progressed. There was lots of action and tension to keep the reading flicking pages and enough thrills for the reader seeking those, but not of a sexual nature. This is a clean read.
I particularly loved the descriptions of Hawaii and the components that make up that experience: the fruit, the flowers, trees, landscape. I really felt like I was there about to munch on banana pancakes!
I would suggest that this is primarily historical women’s fiction with a side of romance.
For any reader who enjoys WWII historical fiction, this one’s for you!
I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
5 out of 5 butterflies