Friday, November 5, 2021

Review: The Pilot's Daughter by Meredith Jaeger

The Pilot's Daughter
by Meredith Jaeger 

Publisher: Dutton
Pages: 352
Format: eARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  In the final months of World War II, San Francisco newspaper secretary Ellie Morgan should be planning her wedding and subsequent exit from the newsroom into domestic life. Instead, Ellie, who harbors dreams of having her own column, is using all the skills she's learned as a would-be reporter to try to uncover any scrap of evidence that her missing pilot father is still alive. But when she discovers a stack of love letters from a woman who is not her mother in his possessions, her already fragile world goes into a tailspin, and she vows to find out the truth about the father she loves--and the woman who loved him back.

When Ellie arrives on her aunt Iris's doorstep, clutching a stack of letters and uttering a name Iris hasn't heard in decades, Iris is terrified. She's hidden her past as a Ziegfeld Follies showgirl from her family, and her experiences in New York City in the 1920s could reveal much more than the origin of her brother-in-law's alleged affair. Iris's heady days in the spotlight weren't enough to outshine the darker underbelly of Jazz Age New York, and she's spent the past twenty years believing that her actions in those days led to murder.

Together the two women embark on a cross-country mission to find the truth in the City That Never Sleeps, a journey that just might shatter everything they thought they knew--not only about the past but about their own futures.

Kritters Thoughts:  Two storylines in one book.  One takes place in San Francisco as World War II is winding down and a young woman is trying to find her father who was a pilot that was shot down during the war.  The other storyline goes further back in time to the 1920s in New York City as her aunt is enjoying the glitz and glam as a Ziegfeld Follie showgirl.  

I went into this book knowing that I wanted to really dive deep into the Ziegfeld Follie storyline as I can't remember ever reading anything else about this particular subject and I have deep appreciation for all things theater related and want to know so much about the evolution of live performances, especially in New York City.  I love that the author didn't hide the connection between this storyline and the other as that wasn't the purpose of the book, it was obvious from the start - but there were still things that could unfold and surprise!

The other storyline was at moments hard to read and heartbreaking.  Without spoiling the reason for this aunt and niece adventure, the letters that are returned from her missing father's belongings have a mystery that needs to be solved.  There were a few times when reading these chapters where I felt so bad for Ellie and wanted so much for her to have a different story.  But what I loved most about those chapters was reading the relationship between this niece and aunt and how much their relationship mattered to each of them.  I am an aunt and there were times where I may have teared up as I hope my niece feels for me as Ellie felt for Iris and I hope that we have many adventures in the future.  

A historical fiction book that tackles two moments in time, but they are expertly woven together and they compliment each other so well.  This was my second Meredith Jaeger read and I loved that one also, have one in her backlist that I need to read (and soon!) and I hope she has more to come!

Rating: definitely a good read, but can't read two in a row

Ebook 2021 Challenge: 136 out of 100

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from Dutton.  I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for receipt of the book; rather, the opinions expressed in this review are my own.

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