Amelia Earhart’s groundbreaking influence and charming quirkiness are the focus of The Sound of Wings, the story of this fascinating, if less than prodigious, aviator.
The Sound of Wings is a gripping biography about a record-breaking aviator, a true dare devil, and a good-lookin’ lady—once you get past the first 11 chapters. The volume begins with the childhoods of both Earhart and her husband, George Putnam. And readers may find this initial portion of the book about as fun to navigate as a hearse, especially since a large chunk is about Putnam exclusively. Beyond that, though, the book is riveting. Lovell is quick to point out that Earhart challenged conventional norms of the time—she kept her hair short and “unruly,” always wore pants (because she had cankles), and kept her maiden name after marrying. Perhaps surprisingly, Earhart was a terrible aviator. Despite her constant practicing, Earhart’s flights were of the wobbly variety, and she crashed many, many times, even during the first attempt of her trip around the world. Because Earhart was not a natural pilot, “it is to her great credit that she was subsequently able to achieve as much,” writes Lovell. The book contains multiple appendices, which present evidence on Earhart’s fate, including her radio communications from the day she vanished and various disappearance theories. Lovell supplies several theories as to what may have happened to our hero while coming to no final conclusion of her own. The possibilities will leave you with goosebumps and a sudden desire to find Earhart yourself.