Review: Chasing the Wind by C.C. Humphreys

This book is recommended to fans of Kate Morton and Jacqueline Whinspear and has been highly praised by on of my favorite authors, Diana Gabaldon. I could gush over Diana Gabaldon for days so seeing her endorsement of this book was all that I needed to agree to review it!

Not to mention, the heroine sounded pretty bad ass and different so I was in, end of story!

Smuggler. Smoker. Aviatrix. Thief. The dynamic Roxy Loewen is all these things and more, in this riveting and gorgeous historical fiction novel for readers of Paula McLain, Roberta Rich, Kate Morton and Jacqueline Winspear.

You should never fall in love with a flyer. You should only fall in love with flight.

That’s what Roxy Loewen always thought, until she falls for fellow pilot Jocco Zomack as they run guns into Ethiopia. Jocco may be a godless commie, but his father is a leading art dealer and he’s found the original of Bruegel’s famous painting, theFall of Icarus. The trouble is, it’s in Spain, a country slipping fast into civil war. The money’s better than good–if Roxy can just get the painting to Berlin and back out again before Reichsmarshall Hermann Goring and his Nazi pals get their hands on it . . .

But this is 1936, and Hitler’s Olympics are in full swing. Not only that, but Goring has teamed up with Roxy’s greatest enemy: Sydney Munroe, an American billionaire responsible for the death of her beloved dad seven years before. When the Nazis steal the painting, Roxy and Jocco decide that they are just going to have to steal it back.

What happens when Icarus flies too close to the sun? Roxy is going to find out. From African skies to a cellar in Madrid, from the shadow cast by the swastika to the world above the clouds on the Hindenburg’s last voyage, in the end Roxy will have just two choices left–but only one bullet (summary from Goodreads).

People rave and rave about Roxy. In Goodreads she’s been compared to a number of strong heroines including my favorite heroine Scarlett O’Hara. Side note—I wasn’t sure what this book was trying to be with all the different comparisons—Scarlett O’Hara, Kate Morton, Jacqueline Winspear—-I mean was it a mystery? An epic romance? I had no idea. In my opinion it was more of an adventure read. Anyway I digress.

As I was saying, people absolutely loved Roxy. I don’t know if readers love Roxy right away or if she just grew on them. For me, she grew on me. I didn’t actually like her from the get go. Let’s just say that she had issues and baggage and I wan’t a fan. But I admired her determination and her ‘devil may care’ attitude about life, love, and work.

She was brazen, unrefined, and yet could fake it if she had to. Roxy is a weapons runner and smuggler which clearly isn’t a job that one would think of a woman having, especially in the years leading up to WWII. Though I didn’t like her all that well, the more I read the more she grew on me. She was flawed and had issues but yet she had this great heart and I couldn’t help but like her. The only thing that I struggled with was that she seemed to get herself into a lot of situations that were resolved mostly by luck rather than pure tenacity on her part.

This was a much different story than I was imagining. I think I was expecting something more cozy and romantic rather than brash and gritty but I loved it all the same. I think the thing that I liked the most was the new angle the author took on a very worn out subject.

For those of you who love historical fiction…..it’s no secret that the genre is inundated with WWII novels focusing on any different subjects—-love, family, loss. So many things. Most of the books are set in London or France though but this book takes an entirely new and fresh approach to this period. We first meet Roxy on her way to Africa and ultimately she travels to Spain. These are areas that I think most of us have forgotten existed during the war. When you say WWII, the first thing that pops to mind is London or Berlin. But Humphreys takes us into unchartered territory which I absolutely loved! Plus it’s during the twilight of WWII just as the Nazi party is rising to power and Germany is undergoing quite a bit of change. The author really capitalizes on that unease and I loved it.

It was refreshing and I was eager to keep reading this story. He clearly did a ton of research for this novel and I loved that he went bold and made the main character a woman rather than a man. I don’t think this story would have worked as well or stood out as much if Roxy had been a man.

If you are looking for something a little different and out of the box to read, I encourage you to pick this one up! This wasn’t a cookie cutter novel by any means. I don’t know that I completely agree with the pitch in that it is suitable for fans of Kate Morton or Jacquline Winspear—-Winspear is too cookie cutter for me, this book is definitely not that and Morton tends to be more on the romantic side where as this book had romance, it wasn’t the entire focus. This is an adventure book thru and thru. It’s unique and stands out for a number of reasons as I have mentioned here in my review. If you see it, grab it!

Challenge/Book Summary:

Book: Chasing the Wind by C.C. Humphreys 

  • Kindle Edition, 320 pages

    Published June 5th 2018 by Doubleday Canada
    ISBN 0385690487 (ISBN13: 9780385690485)
  • Review copy provided by: Author/Publisher in exchange for an honest review.

This book counts toward: NA

  • Hosted by: NA
  • Books for Challenge Completed: NA

Recommendation: 4.5 out of 5

Genre: Historical fiction, adventure

Memorable lines/quotes:

 

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