Crossing the Horizon

12 CDs. 14:23 hrs. Tantor Audio. Nov. 2016. ISBN 9781515964780. $49.99. digital download. F
In the months following Charles Lindbergh's famous flight across the Atlantic, Elsie McKay, Ruth Elder, and Mabel Boll each wanted to be the first woman to fly across the pond. In this fictional treatment of real people, Notaro uses documentary sources to inspire the dialog. Aristocratic Elsie, American girl-next-door Ruth, and brassy New Yorker Mabel are very different but are all determined and focused on the goal. The book is slow to start; three discs in and listeners will wonder why they should care about these people. But the determined will finally be absorbed by the dangerous flights and entertained by Mabel's wackiness. Reader Hillary Huber uses accents to express the personalities: cool, clipped consonants and lightly spoken syllables accentuate British Elsie's haughty self-confidence; sweet and Southern, Ruth's drawl is part of her persona as she successfully manipulates every man she encounters, especially investors and journalists. With a flat, nasal voice as hard as the diamonds she wears, Mabel pursues the men who will help her become the "Queen of the Air."
VERDICT None of these women are wholly likable, and this may be more evident in the recording than in the print version. Not an essential purchase.
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