Sophia Rose is here during Harlequin’s Summer Historical Fiction Blog Tour and she is sharing a fantastic WW!! novel, Radar Girls by Sara Ackerman. Check out her thoughts and read an excerpt. I cannot wait to read this one!
by Sara Ackerman
Genres: Historical Fiction
Purchase*: Amazon | Audible *affiliate
An extraordinary story inspired by the real Women’s Air Raid Defense, where an unlikely recruit and her sisters-in-arms forge their place in WWII history.
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.
Sophia Rose’s Review
A peaceful Hawaii Sunday morning swim is shattered by a sneak attack that plunged her world into war. Daisy answered the call for a new all-female secret war project that had great impact, brought her new, unforgettable friendships and a romance she never dreamed of.
Daisy grew up fishing the surf, working horses at the Montgomery Ranch, and trying to keep her grief-torn, apathetic mother and their home in order. She grew up faster than some, even if she did never finish school, came from humble circumstances, and was looked down on by families like the Montgomerys. Daisy loved her father and misses him after his death, too, but someone has to keep it together. This ability holds her in good stead when she loses her job at the ranch and then takes up her country’s call to become one of the women air-raid defense (or WARDs) in a field that only men have done in the past. Her head for mathematics and her coolness in the face of an emergency take her right into the heart of the work, but doesn’t prepare her for matters of the heart when she starts to fall for a man who seems out of her reach even if they have developed a surprising friendship in spite of his family’s disapprobation.
Daisy has always stood alone and suddenly she is part of something and has friends who respect and like her. They all work tirelessly to learn what they must and do their jobs to read the radar and bring the pilots home safe while watching for the enemy, but Daisy and her core group of friends get up to some mischief and adventure, too, from hiding a stray cat mascot, discovering their lingerie thief, road trips, and war-time making-do. Daisy is desperate to find the Montgomery’s lost thoroughbred that she had responsibility over before the Japanese attack scared the horse and it was never seen again. Her friends help her work to solve this disappearance. They all support each other through loss, personal struggles, and men.
The setting of 1940s Hawaii, WWII, and the WARDs is carefully painted as are the well-developed characters. There is an even flow of suspense, fun, romance, drama, and then the build during the big climactic Battle of Midway.
All in all, this was an abso-fab introduction to the author’s work that kept me thoroughly riveted from the beginning. I loved this dive into women’s history and WWII fiction with a generous dollop of friendship and a dash of romance set in a tropical paradise. Those who enjoy Historical Women’s Fiction and WWII Fiction should definitely consider themselves a target audience.
Read an Excerpt
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Amazing review! I intend to read that one next month!
You are in for a treat, Sophie!
You know I like reading stories from this era and this story sounds amazing! Wonderful review, Sophia! Off too look this one up. 🙂
Oh yes, perfect fit for you, Rachel. You’d love the characters, too.
This looks wonderful! I love this time period and this is an angle I haven’t come across in historical fiction.
Yes, the women radar operators was a new one for me, too. Loved the story.
I’ve always been intrigued by the work women did during WWII, and this sounds fascinating. I’m glad you enjoyed it.
Same here, Wendy! So glad that more and more books are coming out about that.
An all female secret project sounds like a good idea for a book.
It really was. These gals were tough and adventurous in some ways, but everyday people, too. I loved their story.
Great review Sophia Rose. Your last paragraph really grabbed me. I recently got a copy of the audiobook for review, so am really looking forward to it now.
How cool! I have a feeling this will be the absolute best on audio, Carla. 🙂
I sure hope so.
I love women who were code breakers back in the day, so this is right up my alley!
Same here! I see Bletchley Park or its equivalent and I have to read it. This was definitely along those lines. 🙂
Anne - Books of My Heart
One of the categories of historical fiction I enjoy are ones where women took an active role in STEM work.
Yeah, I agree! I’m lousy at math so I am uber impressed when someone can do the complex stuff and it happens to save lives. 🙂
I am amazed at how women can achieve so much even when given so little, go Daisy!
Same here! Daisy lights a fire inside one. 🙂