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Velva Jean Learns to Fly
Velva Jean Learns to Fly
$15.00
Paperback
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BOOK DETAILS

  • Paperback
  • Aug.30.2011
  • 9780452297401
$29.99
Audio Book
See Book Details »

BOOK DETAILS

  • Audio Book
  • Aug.30.2011
  • 9781452654447

Jennifer gives an overview of the book:

Velva Jean Hart, the fiercely independent heroine of Jennifer Niven's debut novel, Velva Jean Learns to Drive, returns in a captivating adventure that literally sends her soaring. Bridling under the limitations faced by a woman in rural Appalachia and fueled by the memory of her late Mama telling her to "live out there," Velva Jean hits the road to pursue her dream of singing at the Grand Ole Opry. After a string of auditions, she begins to lose hope--until her brother pays her a surprise visit and treats Velva Jean to a flying lesson that ignites a brand new dream: to become a female pilot (with the WASP). After Pearl Harbor, Velva Jean signs up for military service and gets her wings, risking her life--and her heart.
Read full overview »

Velva Jean Hart, the fiercely independent heroine of Jennifer Niven's debut novel, Velva Jean Learns to Drive, returns in a captivating adventure that literally sends her soaring. Bridling under the limitations faced by a woman in rural Appalachia and fueled by the memory of her late Mama telling her to "live out there," Velva Jean hits the road to pursue her dream of singing at the Grand Ole Opry. After a string of auditions, she begins to lose hope--until her brother pays her a surprise visit and treats Velva Jean to a flying lesson that ignites a brand new dream: to become a female pilot (with the WASP). After Pearl Harbor, Velva Jean signs up for military service and gets her wings, risking her life--and her heart.

Read an excerpt »

We were still flying at 150 miles per hour when the airplane hit the water again. In my earpiece, I could hear the technicians at the back of the plane. There was the sound of raised voices, of yelling. Something in those voices—a kind of wild panic—went right through me and made my knuckles go white more than the fire in the engine or the way we kept dropping into the water.

I pulled as hard as I could on the throttle, and the bomber shook like an earthquake. I felt something cold and wet on my hand and knew that I’d pulled so hard that I was bleeding. The plane rose to three hundred feet and then five hundred.

In a split second, I remembered everything I’d learned about flying—how to land in a crosswind. Flying the beam. Flying blind. Restarting the engine once it was cut. Night flying. Flying cross-country. Knowing my compass. Trusting my judgment.

I knew enough about flying not to crash. I knew before going up in the B-29 that it might catch fire and that the propellers might fail. It was part of the risk. There was always a risk when you flew, really flew.

Bob Keene shouted, “Jump!”

I shouted, “You jump!” I was going to stay with the plane as long as I could.

We were coming down fast over rocks, water, and trees. The B-29 was in an inverted spin, which meant I was upside down. I fought with my safety belt before cutting it loose, and then I flipped the latch and scrambled out. My leg was hit hard by the rudder, and for a minute I saw stars. The ground was hurtling toward me, and I jumped. I felt myself falling and it felt slow and fast all at once. I remembered what Johnny Clay said about the seconds it took to die.

jennifer-niven's picture

One of the greatest things I hear from readers is "Velva Jean changed my life." Maybe she's helped them remember a dream they'd put aside, encouraging them to go after it once and for all.  Velva Jean has certainly changed my life too, and she reminds me that we need to "live out there" while we can.

About Jennifer

Jennifer Niven lives in Los Angeles (where her film Velva Jean Learns to Drive won an Emmy Award and she once played the part of Shania Twain in a music video). Even though she's always wanted to be a Charlie's Angel, her true passion is writing, and her first...

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Published Reviews

Oct.02.2011

Velva Jean Learns to Fly

By Jennifer Niven

Reviewed by Philip K. Jason

     Jennifer Niven won much praise and...

Oct.02.2011

During World War II, more than 1,000 women pilots ferried fighter jets and other military aircraft in a program started by Jacqueline Cochrane called Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP). It is into this...