The Infinite Air by Fiona Kidman: A Book Review

The Infinite Air
Author: Fiona Kidman
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publisher: Aardvark Bureau
Release Date: March 6, 2016
Pages: 352
Source: Netgalley/Publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Synopsis: A superbly written novel offering an intriguing interpretation of one of the world's greatest aviators, the glamorous and mysterious Jean Batten. Jean Batten became an international icon in the 1930s. A brave, beautiful woman, she made a number of heroic solo flights across the world. The newspapers couldn't get enough of her; and yet she suddenly slipped out of view, disappearing to the Caribbean with her mother and dying in obscurity in Majorca, buried in a pauper's grave. Fiona Kidman's enthralling novel delves into the life of this enigmatic woman, exploring mysteries and crafting a fascinating exploration of early flying, of mothers and daughters, and of fame and secrecy.

     My Review: Jean Batten is one of the world’s greatest aviators. She is the first woman to fly solo across from England to New Zealand and also broke many records during her solo flights. However, while she is a famous icon, she has a mysterious life. In this historical novel, Mrs. Kidman tells a more intimate story of Jean Batten’s personal life. This book details Jean Batten’s accomplishments as well as her personal losses.

     Before reading this book, I did not know anything about Jean Batten’s life. This novel gives Jean a very humanizing portrait of this fascinating woman. Jean is a woman who is a big dreamer, and she is determined to make her dream come true. She is very ambitious, persistent, and courageous. She is a woman who has a commanding presence because she is very confident. Yet, Jean has also experienced many sadness in her life. While it seems that she is a woman who has everything that she has ever dreamed of, there are glimpses of where she is unhappy. She is very sad and lonely. This makes her seem cold and distant. Thus, Jean is a complex figure, and readers are drawn to her personal struggles as well as her triumphs.

     Overall, this book is an in-depth psyche to one of the world’s most iconic female aviators. This book is about love, family, loss, and dreams. It is also about a woman trying to find happiness. This book is filled with fascinating characters, and I loved Jean’s relationship with her mother. Jean’s mother, Nellie, was very supportive of Jean and always stood by her side. I found their relationship to be very touching.This book is very well-written, and I felt like I was there beside Jean. The Infinite Air is a great tribute to Jean Batten and her accomplishments.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars


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