Melody Foreman brings to life the story of Mary Ellis within the pages of A Spitfire Girl: One of the World’s Greatest Female ATA Ferry Pilots Tells Her Story. The qualified journalist and graduate with experience in newspapers and television documentaries is the author of the best-selling Bomber Girls and has written two books on the history of Kent. Her avid interest in the Air Transport Auxiliary is maintained and is something that made telling the life story of Mary Ellis so perfect. Her story is remarkable and brings to light the powerful actions she completed during the war. While she stayed in the background and let others take the spotlight, this is the moment for Ellis to shine in her own way.
Mary Ellis served as a ferry pilot with the Air Transport Auxiliary and transported aircraft the the RAF, which included a variety of fast fighter planes and four-engine bombers. The first time she flew a Spitfire Ellis almost lost her British demeanor and squealed with delight, but she maintained her level of calm in order to make herself look as confident and cool under pressure as the other female pilots who had already been able to fly these fantastic planes. Ellis shares the story of her inspirations, women who took to the skies before her, as well as her own early fascination with the skies. While she shares the powerful positive moments she experienced during her time flying, she also discusses the tragedies. During war time there are always casualties and Ellis lost friends and fellow pilots before the end. This did not stop her from flying, but she felt pushed to do as much good as she could for the war effort.
Through Foreman, Ellis is able to tell her story in the first person. This invites readers into her story and lets you feel as though you are listening to Ellis telling you about her history of daring flight deeds. The stories included throughout the book emphasizes the strength and courage of Ellis. She was a dedicated pilot who constantly pushed herself to complete her runs and was involved in her own dangerous situations. Her legendary landing of a Wellington bomber to an airfield is a tale that surprised a number of of male counterparts. Her discussions of her achievements are inspiring and filled me with pride for all of the women who served. Ellis was a hero who tells her story with humility and constant regard for those she served with. Her story is heartfelt and empowering and the perfect read for not just history buffs, but those who want to be inspired by the heroic acts of women throughout history.