Daughters of The Night Sky by Aimie K. Runyan – 316 pages
Russia, 1941. Katya Ivanova is a young pilot in a far-flung military academy in the Ural Mountains. From childhood, she’s dreamed of taking to the skies to escape her bleak mountain life. With the Nazis on the march across Europe, she is called on to use her wings to serve her country in its darkest hour. Not even the entreaties of her new husband—a sensitive artist who fears for her safety—can dissuade her from doing her part as a proud daughter of Russia.
After years of arduous training, Katya is assigned to the 588th Night Bomber Regiment—one of the only Soviet air units comprised entirely of women. The Germans quickly learn to fear nocturnal raids by the daring fliers they call “Night Witches.” But the brutal campaign will exact a bitter toll on Katya and her sisters-in-arms. When the smoke of war clears, nothing will ever be the same—and one of Russia’s most decorated military heroines will face the most agonizing choice of all.
My Review: 4 stars
Wow, Daughters Of The Night Sky is my first novel by Aimie K. Runyan and boy can she tell a tale. What I liked most about this historical fiction novel is that it’s based on the real Night Witches: a band of women that were trained and chosen by Stalin to fight against the Nazis in WW2.
The authors that bring little known stories about the heroics of women during wartime really appeal to me. It shows a different side of the war effort that was not ever taught in history books. Along with the fearless flying under horrific conditions with barely any sleep, these women put their lives on hold. Themes of pride, motherhood, marriage, love, sacrifice, equality, women’s rights and friendship are woven throughout the book.
This book is an easy read with a minor romantic subplot that may appeal to many readers. For me, it felt a bit sudden and unrealistic but didn’t take away from the story in any way.
Quotes I liked:
Don’t know how women have done this since the dawn of time. Waiting for men to come home from war. He hasn’t even gone yet, and it’s killing me.”
-“But, as my papa often said, it was no use hoping a wall would become a door.”
-“If I lose my kindness, I’ve lost the war.”