After Pearl Harbor and the start of World War II, fiercely independent heroine Velva Jean enlists, gets her wings, risks her life—and her heart in this bold and inspiring novel from the author of the New York Times bestsellers Holding Up the Universe and All the Bright Places (soon to be a major motion picture starring Elle Fanning).
Bristling at the limitations faced by a woman in rural Appalachia and fueled by the memory of her late Mama telling her to “live out there,” Velva Jean hits the road to pursue her dream of singing at the Grand Ole Opry. Little does she know that another captivating adventure awaits: one that will send her literally soaring.
But then, her beloved big brother pays a surprise visit and treats Velva Jean to a flying lesson that ignites a brand-new dream: to become a female pilot with the WASPs of World War II. Funny, poignant, and utterly unforgettable, Velva Jean Learns to Fly will have fans cheering all over again.
“A major achievement.”—Southern Literary Review
Niven delivers another tale full of hope, heartbreak, and nostalgia in this sequel to Velva Jean Learns to Drive. Now in her twenties, at the dawn of World War II, heroine Velva Jean Hart leaves her husband and the comfort of her hometown in North Carolina to pursue her life-long dream of singing at the Grand Ole Opry. Once she arrives, she quickly learns that breaking into the music business is breaking her heart, but that doesn't stop our mind-bogglingly positive ing nue from sticking it out and singing the blues every chance she gets. Velva Jean's aspirations soon take a dramatic turn when her brother Johnny Clay introduces her to flying planes. Consumed with becoming a heroic female aviator, Velva Jean joins the WAFS, the Women's Auxiliary Ferrying Squadron, part of the Army Air Forces, and experiences a wartime life filled with love, despair, and life-threatening adventures. A tasteful blend of comedy, inspiration, and endurance.