People who read my reviews know how rarely I do DNF reviews , pretty much never but this crappy book ( no I never judge the book after two chapters either usually) warrants that.
Also a note, because I do not follow many people and those few who follow me know some of my background - I am from the part of the world the book attempts to portray, I grew up with the books and movies and stories and books and movies about Great patriotic war. Of course some of them were propaganda pieces but a lot of them were really good and great. Oh and I had family members suffering and being killed in that war. It does not make me a great expert obviously, it especially does not make me an expert on "Night witches", on whose adventures the book is supposedly based, but "Night witches" were part of my casual knowledge about that war. Look it up if you don't know who those women were, they were heroes and they were awesome.
So, to be frank I would be tempted to give this book an F for the author note at the end alone - period. I read two chapters, the main character did not sound as Russian woman in the 1930s, the setting did not come even close to Russia in the 1930s , friend who read first chapter told me it sounded more like American frontier (yay?) and I figured let me read what research author did.
She starts her note with basically she is not an expert on Russia, she is not an expert in Second world war, but she still felt the need to write this story. Let's rewind here , she is trying to write a story about the experiences of *Russian* women in the *Second world war*.
Now don't get me wrong , I do not expect a writer to *become* an expert in the setting of the book she is trying to write, but I sure as hell expect them to make a good faith attempt and nope, that was not it. Guess what? Russian girls in 1930s were taught the same subjects as boys. The parents did not have to go and fight the teacher to let their daughters study math. Yep, it did happen and women studied and were accepted in the pilots schools before the war. Oh you know you also do not need to imply that the heroine hated Stalin. She sure *may have * but the chances are she didn't . She may have had no idea of him being a murderous dictator, but she was likely to think she was a good leaders. Millions of otherwise decent people who had nothing to do with murders and genocide died with Stalin's name on their lips during the war. UGH.