The White Rose

Mary Ann

It was called the Great Patriotic War as Russia fought desperately to keep Hitler from conquering the Motherland.  Lilya Ltvyak, at 19, knew she wanted to do her part and flying was her dream.  That’s what brought her to this point.  Standing on an airbase, demanding her male counterparts see more that just another woman who should be cooking their meals.  She and her dearest friend, Katya, are a lethal pair - if these men would just give them a chance! 


Captain Alexei Salomaten cannot believe his eyes.  The most beautiful blonde he has ever seen is standing in front of him and he is expected to let her fly?  He has seen death take almost every pilot he has ever cared about and refuses to watch the life of this small firecracker of a woman die just so she can prove herself.  He will protect her whether she agrees or not!


Based on the true story, Ms. Cook has created a work of fiction that rises beautifully above the normal historical accounts.  The reader is immediately drawn into Lilya’s life and into her heart, as she struggles against prejudice, the brutalities of war and her own heart.  Through it all, she refuses to bow under, insistently grabbing all that life has to offer and enjoying all she can even amidst the horrible atrocities of WWII. As with so many true accounts, this story ends bittersweet but as the reader follows Lilya’s journey through love and loss one finds themselves laughing, crying, and finally closing the book better for having read it.  Bravo, Ms. Cook!


Ruth Lynn Ritter