Hello readers! Welcome to my stop on the Harlequin Trade Publishing Summer 2021 Blog Tour for Radar Girls by Sara Ackerman! Thank you to Harlequin Trade Publishing and the author for giving me the opportunity to be a part of this tour.
Title: The Warsaw Orphan
Author: Sara Ackerman
Genre: Historical Fiction
Published: July 27th, 2021 (MIRA)
Synopsis: Daisy Wilder prefers the company of horses to people, bare feet and salt water to high heels and society parties. Then, in the dizzying aftermath of the attack on Pearl Harbor, Daisy enlists in a top secret program, replacing male soldiers in a war zone for the first time. Under fear of imminent invasion, the WARDs guide pilots into blacked-out airstrips and track unidentified planes across Pacific skies.
But not everyone thinks the women are up to the job, and the new recruits must rise above their differences and work side by side despite the resistance and heartache they meet along the way. With America’s future on the line, Daisy is determined to prove herself worthy. And with the man she’s falling for out on the front lines, she cannot fail. From radar towers on remote mountaintops to flooded bomb shelters, she’ll need her new team when the stakes are highest. Because the most important battles are fought—and won—together.
This inspiring and uplifting tale of pioneering, unsung heroines vividly transports the reader to wartime Hawaii, where one woman’s call to duty leads her to find courage, strength and sisterhood.
Thank you to the publisher, Harlequin Trade Publishing, and NetGalley for providing me with an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Following the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, Daisy Wilder is recruited to join a top secret program for the U.S. Military, the Women’s Air Raid Defense, to replace male soldiers who are increasingly being sent into war zones. The WARDs are responsible for guiding pilots and tracking unidentified planes in the Pacific, and many think that women will not be capable of such an important job, but Daisy is determined to prove herself.
Though I have been reading a lot of WWII historical fiction lately, it was all European based, so this was the first book I read set in the South Pacific and related to Pearl Harbor. I loved learning about the WARDs and it was really interesting how in depth this story went into the work the women were doing, taking the time to explain how radar works and how pilots were guided in the blacked out zones. It’s rare to see this level of detail in historical fiction novels and I enjoyed it a lot. The setting of Hawaii was well depicted, and certainly a change of pace from the gloomier backdrop of other such novels I’ve read recently.
Daisy was a marvelous heroine. Having dropped out of school following her father’s death to support the family, she has been a bit of a loner, preferring the company of the horses she cares for working on a ranch. But in joining the radar girls, finds a group of close friends and their bond is wonderfully portrayed as they help each other through love, loss and the horrors of war. This book showed very well how the war changed these women’s lives completely and the sacrifices they had to make in this time. Despite the entire story being from Daisy’s perspective, each of the characters’ stories were very well developed and so realistic that they’re easy to relate to.
This isn’t a very long book, so I felt like the story spent a disproportionate amount of time focusing on romance subplot and the mystery surrounding the missing horse. I’ll admit these, along with the various other incidents were interesting, and they made the story more realistic, but I was hoping for more of the book to be centered around Daisy’s work and overall, just a little more exciting.
However, this was a quick and enjoyable read and I’m looking forward to checking out more books set in this era, particularly around Pearl Harbor and Hawaii. I would definitely recommend this book for historical fiction fans!
Radar Girls releases on July 27th, 2021.
About the Author
USA Today bestselling author Sara Ackerman was born and raised in Hawaii. She studied journalism and earned graduate degrees in psychology and Chinese medicine. She blames Hawaii for her addiction to writing, and sees no end to its untapped stories. When she’s not writing or teaching, you’ll find her in the mountains or in the ocean. She currently lives on the Big Island with her boyfriend and a houseful of bossy animals. Find out more about Sara and her books at http://www.ackermanbooks.com and follow her on Instagram @saraackermanbooks and on FB @ackermanbooks.
Do you plan to read this book? Let me know in the comments below!