on April 3, 2015 :
Helen Mulberry, the only daughter in a family of four, i being brought up by her eldest brother Edward, a WWI flying ace, after the death of their mom and loss of one brother to this war. Their father now fills his time with work, and the other brother is busy with his own family. Only problem is that Edward has been lost to life after the death of their brother, sure it was somehow his fault.
One night, over family Bible time, Helen announces to her family that she will be heading over to England to help with the war effort, freeing up more men to fight the war. Her brother Eddie, wants to hear nothing of it, the father says she is too young at just 19, but she feels God calling her to do this and so she leaves in her own plane, bought for her when she was just 16.
She arrives at HQ, where she is not warmly welcomed by the men, even though she has been traveling for a week. Helen knows if she was a man she would be treated differently and refuses to be mistreated. She is a spunky, sassy, breath of fresh air with a heart as big as Texas, where she comes from. She is an awesome pilot and when taken up to see what she can do, more than impresses both Major Radden and Captain Reginald Green whom Helen nicknames, Green Eyes.
"...I can’t imagine that your brother Eddie gave you his blessing to be here.”
Helen lifted her chin. “Didn’t need anyone’s blessing. Diamond’s my plane. I’m 19, old enough to come on my own. He ain’t speaking to me right now, but that’s up to him and I can’t let it affect whether I follow God’s call or not.”
“God’s call? So, I’m to understand you’re a woman of faith, then?”
“Faith is the most important thing in my life, Major." pg. 17
Helen is added to the group of six, now 7, and given the name:
"FAITH - allegiance to duty or a person: loyalty: fidelity to one's promises or sincerity of intentions: belief and trust in and loyalty to God: firm belief in something: complete trust: something that is believed, especially with strong conviction." pg. 14
Captain Green is put in charge of training Faith, and as much as she exasperates him as time, one can see that she is starting to grow on him. But when she oversteps a boundary, flashing lights on the ending of one of the training sessions, she is grounded for three days. She is annoyed, frustrated and then comes to her senses and realizes that she was wrong.
She performs many drops and pick ups, and then is called to pick up and deliver 'precious' cargo, and given very specific details on how this mission will proceed. Her co-pilot is already on board, making the preflight check and when she finds out the co-pilot is none other than Green eyes, whose very presence causes her irritation. The flight gives them some time to talk and she discovers that he is an injured war vet from WWI, also known as the Great War, as well as other information and a silent truce is reached.
They arrive and wait for their precious cargo.
"Your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.” Their contact spoke in English. His voice was a deep baritone and very American, as if he hailed from Northern California or the Pacific Northwest.
Recovering from her shock that an American wore a Nazi uniform and quoted Scripture, Helen held up her hand. “That’s my challenge verse.” She spoke toward the open door and threw a thumbs up." pg. 32
Prudence and Faith are in the empty dining hall when Faith receives a package from back home. A package not for herself but to be shared with all on the base. Sugar, and lots of it, along with containers to put it out on the tables. She has Prudence help her and soon all containers are filled and extra stored away safely. Rations means many have not tasted sugar in months, if not years. What a surprise and treat this will be. Faith's sister in law had put it all together for her, and she must go and write her a most heart felt thank you.
Prudence, too, has a letter to write, but quite a different one.
' “I need to find a way to say what I want to say...“Do you think God prepared us for this before we even came here?”
“Prudence, I absolutely do believe that.” She slapped her knee. “I absolutely believe it. Think of the various skills and gifts we each have. How else could you explain it? That we’re just some random grouping of people who happened to all have highly honed skills? Come on. Of course He prepared us!”
“Which means He prepared our hearts as well.” She brought her hands forward and laced her fingers. “Somehow, I have to put that into words on a written page in the form of a letter.”' pg. 38
On Dec. 7, 1941 Japan declares war on USA and Faith worries that she will be called from her job working with her friends, co-spies but Major Radden assures her she is part of this group up and until either she or Faith decide it's time for her to move on.
Faith loves this little group of women she has become a part of, and it means so much to her, especially having grown up in a family surrounded by men. She is so thankful to God for this opportunity and knows she is blessed.
"God brought them all together at this time. She had deep and abiding faith in that very notion. Each one of the women at this table had exceptional skills, honed to near perfection, that would help them in the difficult and dangerous work ahead. Why would God have given Charity and Temperance such minds for puzzles and code or Prudence such instinctive reactions to situations? Why would He have gifted Grace with the strength and agility of a warrior and Hope with the power of seduction and persuasion? Couple all of that with Mercy’s surgical skills and her own flying skills, and what God had created decades before the mere mortals on earth even knew they needed it, was a finely tuned team. They came together as if made for each other, in love and trust, and one which could work as a single solid unit.
It filled her heart and took her breath away – that God would choose her, her, to be a part of this monumental moment – that He would have her, little Helen from Lamarr, begin flying these amazing and gifted women to their assignments so they could begin their work. pg. 46
And then the night comes and it is time for the mission to bring Temperance home to England to get the much needed health care she needs, which means breaking her out of prison, getting her to the plane and out of enemy territory in a short time frame.
On the way over, the plane she is driving crashes. Now what? Co-pilot tells of an airfield where the Germans fix planes and prepare them for service again. They should be able to find something there to accomplish this mission. They take off running and arrive to find the airfield lit up like a Christmas tree, with all kinds of planes belonging to a variety of the upper crust of the German commanders in town for Hopes' concert at the prison. The plane closest to the runway will do just fine, except they have been spotted and told to halt or they will be shot. What will they do? Time is ticking and many lives are depending on them?
You will not be able to put this book down, what with the fast paced activity as well as family connections being made, and many questions being answered. The series has been awesome and this final one definitely is the perfect ending. Pick up the whole series to read today, you will not be disappointed.
I was given this book by bookfun.org and the author in exchange for an honest review. Thank you. Awesome writing and I thoroughly enjoyed the whole series, as well as meeting the real heroes and reading up on the many events that these books were based upon.
(reviewed 10 days after purchase)
on March 29, 2015 :
The Flight of Faith, Part 7 of the Virtues and Valor Series is the final installment of this incredible World War II story. I can emphatically state that this is the most intriguing, well told, gripping story I have ever read from this era. Set in World War II and based from a spy training facility estate in Britain, I have not read anything that matches the heroism, integrity, loyalty, patriotism, self-sacrifice, and friendships that are produced in this amazing work by Hallee Bridgeman.
In The Flight of Faith, we learn the background of the fun-loving 19 year old pilot from Lamar, TX, Helen Mulberry, codenamed Faith. She takes England by storm with her charisma and sassy Texas personality. She flies between Britain and France, transporting secret passengers and supplies. Helen has to learn to fly in combat, land in the dark without lights, and evade anti-aircraft fire. Her most important flight is the rescue mission to save her friend and fellow agents from the Nazis.
Hallee Bridgeman packs so much action into these serialized novellas that you are literally on the edge of your seat with the nail biting suspense. If you love historical fiction inspired by historical people and events that includes stark bravery of heroes and heroines, you will be inspired by this series.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher, through The Book Club Network (bookfun.org) in exchange for my honest review.
(reviewed 5 days after purchase)