If you have been reading my reviews for awhile now, you are likely aware that even though I mostly review books that fall into the paranormal/fantasy/sci-fi genres, I do also enjoy historical fiction. Night Witches very neatly falls into that category and given that I also enjoy learning about World War II which is when it takes place, I knew going in I’d be hard pressed to not enjoy it.
Mirren Hogan brings us in this fictional account, a story of how the famous 588th Night Bomber Regiment came to be through the eyes of one of the young women who volunteered. It follows not just how this woman and the others would go onto prove themselves as belonging in the thick of things with the men but that they were going to become feared by the Nazis (from whom they got their nickname of Night Witches).
You get pulled into how much of an underdog reality these women faced, from how fast they needed to be trained, the lack of initial belief in them by the men, to the equipment they used. With sometimes only a few sentences here and there throughout the book, Mirren Hogan brings numerous women to life so that we might connect with them, cheer them on, and pull for them in the darker moments they face.
The story is told as a flashback told many years later during an interview, and as such some parts get talked about in more depth while other parts get skipped over based on what the woman being interviewed cares to share. Given the things she would have seen it isn’t hard to imagine there weren’t some parts she wanted to not focus on and so this worked brilliantly. The only downside of this of course is that it means the book was not as long as I, personally, would have liked.
It’s clear Mirren Hogan did a great deal of research to bring as much life to the story as possible and it made it all the more engrossing as a result. You might know how it ends historically but being given a glimpse, however fictionalized it may be, into the individual lives of those who were there and what they dealt with day to day can make history come to life.
If you don’t know the story of this famous regiment, this is a good book to get you invested story wise in the hopes you will then delve into learning more about the real life exploits of these amazing women.
You can find Night Witches at http://lrd.to/night-witches