Wednesday, March 26, 2014


Sookie has just married off the last of her four daughters, and she's exhausted.  Before she even has a moment to recover, she receives the shock of her life:  she's adopted.  Her 88-year-old mother Lenore, overbearing and over the top, has never mentioned this fact and has always pressed Sookie to live up to her Simmons family heritage.  The novel alternates between Sookie's attempts to adjust to her newfound identity and the history of her biological relatives, a Polish family who owned a gas station in Pulaski, Wisconsin.  Their story is more compelling, as four daughters run the family filling station while their father is in a tuberculosis sanatorium and their brother is a WWII pilot.  Three of the girls, including Sookie's biological mother, become WASPs, a group of female pilots who ferry planes to the troops.  The tone of Sookie's story makes it seem a little frivolous;  Sookie is justifiably upset but copes by meeting a psychiatrist at Waffle House so that her nosy neighbors won't find out.  That plan backfires, but it's absurd, any way you look at it.  The WASPs, however, are a spunky bunch, and this novel is a good vehicle for getting their story told to other women, although I felt that Sookie's silliness detracted from the meatiness of the WASPs' history.

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