Book Review: Wings of a Dream by Anne Mateer

Publisher: Bethany House
Publication Date: September 1, 2011

Book Synopsis as provided by the publisher:

Rebekah Hendricks dreams of a life far beyond her family's farm in Oklahoma, and when dashing aviator Arthur Samson promises adventure in the big city, she is quick to believe he's the man she's meant to marry. While she waits for the end of the Great War and Arthur's return, her mother's sister falls ill. Rebekah seizes the opportunity to travel to Texas to care for Aunt Adabelle, sure that her glamorous and exciting life is about to start.

But the Spanish flu epidemic changes everything. Faced with her aunt's sickness, Arthur's indecisiveness, and four children who have no one else to care for them, Rebekah discovers she must choose between her desire to escape the type of life she's always led and the unexpected love that just might change the dream of her heart.


Wings of a Dream is a novel that hearkens back to simpler times, when faith and family and being neighbourly was the norm. Anne Mateer writes in an easy to read manner, and succeeded at bringing to life interesting historical details, such as the the tragedy of the Spanish Influenza as it so greatly impacted her characters lives. Scenes that are focused on the children and their sorrows and their joys were especially well-done, and tugged on my heart strings.

However, I must admit that I found the book to be less enjoyable than I'd hoped, largely because of the character of Rebekah. While I realize that generally authors are trying to portray growth in their characters over the course of a story, I found her to be so immature and selfish at times that I grew quite annoyed with her. One scene that especially bothered me is one where she arrives home feeling emotional and is so focused on reading a letter that she leaves the 9-yr-old to make herself and her 3 siblings supper and then also put them to bed, including the 9-month old baby. Such a scene made her seem so selfish that I struggled to like her after that, and there were numerous other such scenes. I also found that she went back and further from being self-less one moment to being incredibly self-centred the next, and this impacted my ability to enjoy the story.

Overall, I am confident that readers who enjoy historical fiction, especially those written by authors like Janette Oke or Kim Vogel Sawyer, will likely enjoy this debut novel as it upholds ideals of sacrifice and love and provides a heartwarming read. I mildly recommend this novel and give it 3.5 out of 5 stars.

Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group.