In Full Flight: A Story of Africa and Atonement

In Full Flight: A Story of Africa and Atonement

The remarkable story of one woman's search for a new life in Africa in the wake of World War II--a life that sparked a heroic career, but also hid a secret past.Dr. Anne Spoerry treated hundreds of thousands of people across rural Kenya over the span of fifty years. A member of the renowned Flying Doctors Service, the French-born Spoerry learned how to fly a plane at the a...

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Title:In Full Flight: A Story of Africa and Atonement
Author:John Heminway
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In Full Flight: A Story of Africa and Atonement Reviews

  • Mary

    Holy cow...

    I can't wait for this book to be released in February because it WILL be a book club selection. And we'd better plan a slumber party for the discussion because it'll take longer than 3 hours to chew this one satisfactorily.

    The big question is this: if a person under unimaginable circumstances is fatally harmful to others who are helpless, but then spends the next 50 years saving and enriching lives of equally hopeless people, is it atonement? Does it balance out? Do horrifically bad

    Holy cow...

    I can't wait for this book to be released in February because it WILL be a book club selection. And we'd better plan a slumber party for the discussion because it'll take longer than 3 hours to chew this one satisfactorily.

    The big question is this: if a person under unimaginable circumstances is fatally harmful to others who are helpless, but then spends the next 50 years saving and enriching lives of equally hopeless people, is it atonement? Does it balance out? Do horrifically bad choices in one chapter of life render the subsequent years of decency and humanitarian work null and void?

    Brilliantly written, John Heminway not only knew Anne Spoerry personally, but also took years of interviews, research, reading journals, visiting places of significance to the story...her story is told in a voice that is not unkind, but doesn't make excuses. It's incredibly balanced and leaves the reader with no obvious conclusions. My husband got ahold of the ARC while I was finishing another, then hounded me until I finished THIS book so that we could discuss it. He's not a big reader, but finished this book in a day and a half. It is impossible to walk away from. And once read, it begs to be shared and discussed over a couple glasses of wine.

    I think this is the best book I've read all year, and that's saying something because it's also the 100th book I read this year. It's not a nice story, but it's an amazing story. I'll be thinking of this for a long, long time...

  • Marijean

    I could not put this book down. Whether you hated the main character or felt she had redeemed herself, it's a great read and exceptionally well written.

  • Monica

    Catching up on a few reviews I’ve missed writing! This was a Goodreads give away. I don’t typically read this genre but I quickly found myself excited and eager for this story. The writing was beautiful and heart felt. It brought color to the history of this courageous woman who was born decades ahead of her time!

  • M.

    An interesting story and a good read!

  • Sara

    Well written story of atrocities. The author frames this as a redemption story, but I'm not so sure, reading between the lines, it seems like the subject remained a horrible person throughout her life, maybe a little influenced by her "mentor" in lying and manipulating people. She did what she wanted, because she wanted to, including her "good deeds" - which were not clearly so good for the recipients.

  • Kay Dillard

    I picked up this book intrigued by the title alluding to two of my enduring interests: flying and Africa. Having now read John Heminway's treatment of the life of Anne Spoerry, doctor, member of the French Resistance, survivor of Ravensbruk, "healer of Africa," I am impressed with his account of this mysterious woman's demons and passions. A reporter who became her friend, Heminway does not hesitate to explore the depths of the dark secrets Spoerry took to her grave, all the while preserving his

    I picked up this book intrigued by the title alluding to two of my enduring interests: flying and Africa. Having now read John Heminway's treatment of the life of Anne Spoerry, doctor, member of the French Resistance, survivor of Ravensbruk, "healer of Africa," I am impressed with his account of this mysterious woman's demons and passions. A reporter who became her friend, Heminway does not hesitate to explore the depths of the dark secrets Spoerry took to her grave, all the while preserving his admiration of her energy and spirit. What will one do to survive? And, having survived, how will one go forward? This book leaves much to think about.

  • Hannah

    This book explores the idea of atonement. At what point does good erase bad? When can you say you have done enough? Fascinating look into the life of a woman who did her best to answer this question.

  • Kelly

    In Full Flight, by John Heminway, tells the story of Anne Spoerry, the flying doctor of Africa. I knew nothing of Anne’s history so this was an interesting read for me. Anne is both admirable for all the work she did in Africa, but at the same time difficult to like due to her personality. Spoerry is definitely a woman on a mission to set things right in Africa, following her time in the Ravensbruck concentration camp. The number of lives she saves and care she provides across Kenya is staggerin

    In Full Flight, by John Heminway, tells the story of Anne Spoerry, the flying doctor of Africa. I knew nothing of Anne’s history so this was an interesting read for me. Anne is both admirable for all the work she did in Africa, but at the same time difficult to like due to her personality. Spoerry is definitely a woman on a mission to set things right in Africa, following her time in the Ravensbruck concentration camp. The number of lives she saves and care she provides across Kenya is staggering. The author’s dive into her time with Carmen Mory both seems to draw attention away from Spoerry as well as provide explanation for what could be the driving force behind her life choices. While told like a story, it does have a tendency to jump between time periods, leaving you to recall where the story left off in a different time period. Heminway clearly has a tremendous amount of respect for Spoerry and makes an effort of telling an unvarnished story of her life and leaving it to the reader to form their own opinions about her attempts at redemption.

  • Martha Fiorentini

    Although, I found Anne Spoerry's 50 years of being a flying doctor interesting and impressive, I couldn't get past her activities during WWII when she was in the concentration camp.

    So, this rating is really regarding the subject of the book rather than the author's style. He certainly pursued many lines of inquiry.

    Reading about more European exploitation of people of color was also distressing. And this happened all over the world by diverse European powers and not unlike what we Americans did t

    Although, I found Anne Spoerry's 50 years of being a flying doctor interesting and impressive, I couldn't get past her activities during WWII when she was in the concentration camp.

    So, this rating is really regarding the subject of the book rather than the author's style. He certainly pursued many lines of inquiry.

    Reading about more European exploitation of people of color was also distressing. And this happened all over the world by diverse European powers and not unlike what we Americans did to the Indigenous people.

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