#aww2020 · 2020 Reviews · historical fiction · new release

New Release Book Review: Beyond the Horizon by Ella Carey

Title: Beyond the Horizonbeyond the horizon small

Author: Ella Carey

Published: October 15th 2019

Publisher: Lake Union Publishing

Pages: 332

Genres:  Fiction, Historical

RRP: $24.99

Rating: 4 stars

From the author of The House by the Lake comes a powerful novel of friendship during World War II, fighting for the truth, and making peace with the past.

At the height of World War II, Eva Scott’s dream comes true. Accepted into the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP), she leaves balmy California and the man she loves for grueling training in Texas, ultimately landing at formidable Camp Davis in North Carolina.

Vastly outnumbered by men and amid contempt, discrimination, and sabotage, Eva and her closest friends, the unconventional Nina and straightlaced Helena, remain loyal to their mission and to each other. They stay focused on the horizon, determined to prove themselves capable women pilots. Until a fatal mission sends Eva’s dream crashing to earth . . .

Now, decades later, is it possible to discover the truth about the night that changed her life? Is there any hope she’ll recover all that she’s lost? When Eva finds herself embroiled in the fight to get military recognition for the WASP, she’s forced to confront the past, and to make a decision that could forever change her future.

Thrilling and inspiring, Beyond the Horizon is a portrait of love, friendship, and valor in a time of war—and a tribute to the brave women who risked their lives for their country.

Review:

‘I am here because we are not recognized in the history of this country. Our contribution to the Allied victory in World war II is not recorded by historians writing official books. Consequently, many Americans do not know the WASP existed.’

The bestselling author of The House by the Lake introduces a brand new story that unveils life during and after World War II. Beyond the Horizon is a novel that examines the bonds of friendship, secrets and the unrecognised female push during the war. It is an illuminating tale, that will open your eyes to a hidden pocket and triumph in the war that has been largely disregarded.

Beyond the Horizon is an informative tribute to the skies. In the midst of the war, a young woman named Eva has big dreams. All Eva wants to do is contribute to the war effort, by joining the fight in the skies. Eva signs up and is accepted into the Women’s Airforce Service Pilots division. She is over the moon to be blessed with such an opportunity. To take up this lucrative position, Eva must leave the sanctuary of her life in California and her relationship, for the training grounds of Texas. Eventually, Eva is transferred to the renowned Camp Davis Site in North Carolina. Eva and her crew negotiate life in a man’s world. They face sexism, clear discrimination, sabotage and complete opposition. It is a tough gig, but Eva is among a set of women who are determined to make things work. The women in Eva’s company are contrasted and have their own quirks, but they accept one another, build friendships and support each another in a time of peril. This is dangerous work and one deed sends Eva over the edge, can she prove herself to be just as worthy as the male pilots? Another path follows Eva’s life years down the track, as she comes to terms with the secrets of the past that she has worked hard to keep buried. Despite that fact that Eva put this hazardous period in her life behind her years ago, she must revisit the past again. It will see Eva face the fight of her life, yet again, as she battles to gain recognition for the tireless and fearless work conducted by her WASP team. Captivating and charged, Beyond the Horizon reminds of us of the bravery, selflessness  and the strong bonds that were evident during a time of  great turbulence.

War time novels such as Beyond the Horizon continue to astonish me. I consider myself quite informed in the World War II history department, but yet again I am confronted with an important branch of the war effort that I wasn’t aware of until I read Ella Carey’s latest. Beyond the Horizon is a historical fiction novel centered on life during and after World War II. It pays specific attention to the female experience of war. Carey highlights the brave work of the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP)  division, who operated in the crowning point of the Second World War.

I really admired the arrangement of this novel. Carey divides the Beyond the Horizon into two distinct routes. The first route takes the reader into the heart of World War II, which is specifically centered on the years 1943 and 1944. On the other hand, Carey delves into post war life, by taking us right the way up to the 1970s. For many in the 1970s, the war had been put behind them, but for those who fought tirelessly and bravely without recognition, they were still fighting to gain recognition for their efforts. Beyond the Horizon is about the process of gaining respect and acknowledgement for their valor, but we soon learn that this is not an easy feat.

I am aware of the fact that Ella Carey conducted a vast range of research to formulate her novel. This involved first hand visits to various locations essential to this story, along with many hours pouring over accompanying research books on the WASP division. What emerges is a rich and authentic story, which will compel you to reach out and do some more research on the WASP initiative. Not only is this a story of the strength of the human spirit, self-sacrifice, courage and the gallantry displayed by these women, it is also a story of strong alliances. These women faced true tests to their strength and opposition from those who deemed them too inferior to succeed in their role in the skies. It was daring work, but essential, contributing much more to the war than we will ever be aware of.

What was just as shocking was the fact that these women who risked it all were soon put back in their place after the war, they had to resume their inferior position, which lacked the freedom and independence they experienced during the war. This would have been a tough transition period, which Carey draws our attention to in Beyond the Horizon. Eva’s fight shows us just how far women were prepared to strive during and after the war.

Beyond the Horizon brings all the vital components of an engaging historical fiction novel together to appeal to the reader. Convincing characters, a credible setting, a hidden aspect of the war and an emphasis on the female war experience ensures that we all stand up and listen to the voices present in Beyond the Horizon.

Beyond the Horizon by Ella Carey was published on 15th October 2019 by Lake Union Publishing. Details on how to purchase the book can be found here.

To learn more about the author of Beyond the Horizon, Ella Carey, visit here.

*I wish to thank the author, Ella Carey, for providing me with a free copy of this book for review purposes.

Beyond the Horizon is book #5 of the 2020 Australian Women Writers Challenge

10 thoughts on “New Release Book Review: Beyond the Horizon by Ella Carey

  1. Great review and I look forward to reading the book. Just one question – Is Ella Carey definitely an Australian author? I have looked at Goodreads and Ella’s website but nowhere does it say anything about her nationality.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for stopping by Lene. I’m glad you both enjoyed the review and will be reading the book. Thank you for your question too – I work as an editor for The Australian Women Writers Challenge and there are other reviews of Ella’s books inputed and approved in the database, so I am sure her nationality is Australia. But you are right, there is no info on this on her website or Goodreads profiles!

      Like

      1. Thanks for replying so quickly Amanda. I have joined the Australian Women Writers Challenge for the first time this year as well as a couple of other challenges and I am thoroughly enjoying new reading experiences and genres. Thanks for running the challenge. My horizon is expanding … yay!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. My pleasure and thanks for the questions too. I’m so glad you have joined up for the challenge for the first time this year. It is a great resource and a supportive community. I look forward to your contributions!

        Like

  2. “What was just as shocking was the fact that these women who risked it all were soon put back in their place after the war, …” – am reading The Daughter of Victory Lights by Kerri Turner which is kinda like this too!

    Love this cover though 😍

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Some great parallels! I’m just thankful to authors such as Kerri Turner and Ella Carey among so many others bringing these women’s histories to our attention! I have Daughter of Victory Lights on my review pile, can’t wait!

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s