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Reviewed by Deborah Lloyd for Readers' Favorite
Gabrielle Richter is the feisty, smart, beautiful daughter of General Maximillian Richter. Her Onkel, Lieutenant General Albert Kesselring of the German Luftwaffe, took her on her first airplane ride on her twelfth birthday. Gabi was immediately smitten with flying; this led her to pursue the study of aeronautical engineering and becoming a pilot in the German military. Her adventures with the Luftwaffe during World War II comprise the main story line of the fictional work, Swallow, written by Heidi Fischer. The personal aspects of Gabi’s courageous life are also highlighted. The relationship with her widowed father, the connections with the household staff on their lovely estate, and several love interests with pilots in her group soften the harsh realities of participating in a vicious war. The battle scenes are terrifying, and the demise of the German military is frightening for these young warriors.
Heidi Fischer, author of Swallow, crafted the perfect balance between breathtaking battle realities, and loving family and romantic relationships. The lesson - that both sides in horrific wars are comprised of emotional human beings - cannot be ignored. Ms. Fischer also reveals the motivations of these young fighters who were barely aware of concurrent Nazi atrocities. These young men, as well as Gabi, followed their love of flying and the promise of an adventurous life, honoring the Fatherland. Each primary character’s personality is highly developed, adding much depth to the entire work. The story flows well, engaging the reader from the first page to the last. This book is both entertaining and thought-provoking - a great read.