- Expected 24 Mar 2020
For fans of Janet Beard’s The Atomic City Girls and Marie Benedict’s The Only Woman in the Room, this powerful, romantic novel tells the story of a woman determined to aid her country, finding love in the midst of tragedy along the way during World War II.
When Lottie Palmer runs away the day before her wedding to join the Navy WAVES program, she not only leaves behind a fiancé, but also the privileged lifestyle that she has known as the daughter of one of the most important manufacturers in Detroit’s auto industry. Spurred by a desire to contribute meaningfully to the war effort, Lottie pours all of her focus and determination into becoming the best airplane mechanic in the division, working harder than she’s ever worked before.
Her grit impresses her handsome instructor, Captain Luke Woodward. But when the war ramps up and she is assigned to Pearl Harbor she must fight her growing feelings for Luke and navigate her role as one of the only female mechanics among a group of men, all while finding out what it means to be your own hero.
Illuminating the story of a woman who sets out to make a difference in the world by following her heart, Candace Waters draws on her extensive research, transporting us from Detroit to New York, and San Diego to Pearl Harbor during the tumultuous time of World War II.
Waters's fast-paced and insightful debut follows the life-changing experiences of a woman serving in the Navy after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. After seeing a Navy ad in a movie newsreel for women volunteers, Lottie Palmer, a Detroit auto manufacturer heiress, abandons her fianc on their wedding day, when "flowers were the one thing they weren't rationing," to join the Navy women's reserve. Using skills she honed at her father's factory, Lottie trains as a mechanic in San Diego, under the command of Capt. Luke Woodward, who "seemed to go out of his way to find something wrong with whatever she was doing." Woodward is again Lottie's commander when she is assigned to Pearl Harbor, undaunted by the surprise attack on the base a few years earlier. There, Luke reveals that he was hard on her so that no one would suspect his attraction to her, and Lottie realizes she is drawn to him as well. After Luke ships out aboard a carrier, having placed Lottie as second-in-command of their shop, she ably leads the men until hearing Luke is missing in action. Waters explores Lottie's desire for self-determination through a convincing portrait of the era's strict rules about social class and gender. Readers who can't get enough of WWII fiction featuring strong women characters will definitely want to take a look.