Under a Sky of Memories

This title was previously available on NetGalley and is now archived.

Buy this Book on

You must sign in to see if this title is available for request.
Pub Date 11 Jan 2022 | Archive Date 25 Jan 2022
Amazon Publishing UK, Lake Union Publishing

Talking about this book? Use #UnderaSkyofMemories #NetGalley. More hashtag tips!


From the bestselling author of The Last Correspondent comes the powerful story of three brave women who go to war—and end up fighting for their lives.

Sicily, 1943. Three American women, all nurses in the Medical Air Evacuation Transport Squadron, are determined to do all they can for their country. Vita is fun-loving, Dot shy and sweet-natured, and Evelyn practical and determined, but for all their differences, a life of military service pulls the three together as firm friends.

When they’re selected for a daring mission, the women are proud to play their part. But disaster strikes when their plane crash-lands behind enemy lines in occupied Albania. Together with twenty-three other medics, they find themselves trapped, cut off from all communication with the squadron, and in terrifying and unimaginable danger.

As days and nights pass without hope of rescue, the group must travel on foot across unfamiliar terrain thick with Nazis and their violent local allies. Can Evelyn, Vita, and Dot survive the perilous journey through enemy territory—and finally find their way home?

From the bestselling author of The Last Correspondent comes the powerful story of three brave women who go to war—and end up fighting for their lives.

Sicily, 1943. Three American women, all nurses in...

A Note From the Publisher

Soraya M. Lane graduated with a law degree before realizing that law wasn’t the career for her and that her future was in writing. She is the author of historical and contemporary women’s fiction, and her novel Wives of War was an Amazon Charts bestseller. Soraya lives on a small farm in her native New Zealand with her husband, their two young sons, and a collection of four-legged friends. When she’s not writing, she loves to be outside playing make-believe with her children or snuggled up inside reading. For more information about Soraya and her books, visit www.sorayalane.com or www.facebook.com/SorayaLaneAuthor, or follow her on Twitter: @Soraya_Lane.

Soraya M. Lane graduated with a law degree before realizing that law wasn’t the career for her and that her future was in writing. She is the author of historical and contemporary women’s fiction...

Available Editions

EDITION Other Format
ISBN 9781542031974
PRICE £8.99 (GBP)

Available on NetGalley

NetGalley Shelf App (PDF)
Send to Kindle (MOBI)
Download (PDF)

Average rating from 111 members

Featured Reviews

Thanks to NetGalley for the ARC copy of this book! This book was phenomenal and I couldn’t put it down. Soraya is a masterful storyteller and one who takes the reader into the story alongside her. Her latest book follows Evelyn, Vita, and Dot, newly minted nurses as they join the 807th Medical Air Evacuation Transport Squadron (MAETS) in Italy during WWII. The girls are sent with 23 other members to evacuate servicemen when their plane crashes and they have to learn to survive, not knowing where they’re at or who’s friend or enemy. I had a knot in my stomach for most of the book as I eagerly turned pages to learned what would happen with our three leading ladies. One of the things I love about Soraya’s books is how she bring the characters together and this book is no different. Evelyn, Vita, and Dot all come from different backgrounds but they bond together because of the situation they’re in. The sisterhood component is one of my favorite parts about this book! This is an absolute must read and I highly recommend it.

Was this review helpful?

What a thriller! This book had me on the edge of my seat wondering if these three nurses would beat the odds and make it home. I loved the medical aspect of it, and Ms. Lane did a wonderful job at the historical medical accuracy during WWII. This book was a survival story, and showed that physical survival is determined not just by your circumstances but by the quality and grit of your mental strength. The three characters were likable, courageous, and patriotic, and I was rooting for them all. Ms. Lane has a wonderful story-telling ability, and her writing will draw you in. This book was unputdownable because I had to know what would happen next. Very highly recommended!

Was this review helpful?

I liked this book. It is great historical fiction and the author is talented, creative, and weaves a fabulous story. I did not want to put it down and that is saying quite a bit as I read hundreds of books each year. The characters were likable, and I hoped the best for them. Historical fiction at its best. Looking forward to more of the same from this author. Good job. Well done...

Was this review helpful?

“Under a Sky of Memories” by Soraya Lane tells the previously mainly unknown WWII story about a military airplane carrying medical personnel going down behind enemy lines in occupied Albania. This story follows three nurses - Vita, Evelyn, and Dot - exploring their relationship with each other and their will to survive in Albania.

One of the things I really enjoy about Ms. Lane’s books (and I’ve read a number of them - and eagerly look forward to her next one) is that she shares WWII stories that are usually unknown or have very little written about them. Her author’s notes always include where she received her inspiration for the story - along with what she changed from the “facts.” Ms. Lane’s books also contain characters from different backgrounds, but she has them melding together and working together (sisterhood!), sometimes after a few rocky bumps along the way. For that reason, I really enjoy Ms. Lane’s books.

For some reason, something just didn't quite click for me about this book (though, having said that, I did read it in a few hours). I’m not sure if it was because none of the main characters (with the exception of James) really appealed to me - or if I wanted to know more about the actual trek to the coast (though reading a book about trudging through unknown forests with little to eat in muddy conditions over 600 miles does not really make for a rather interesting book … ). I did find the epilogue a nice wrap-up for the characters. A solid 3.5 stars, but rounded up to 4 because, let’s be honest, I’m awaiting Ms. Lane’s next WWII adventure and am looking forward to reading it.

Was this review helpful?

With grateful thanks to netgalley for an early copy in return for an honest opinion.
Having read most of this authors books, I was delighted to have a chance to read this book.
As always another beautiful cover and a rather intriguing title, and once you read the book makes great sense.

3 individual girls offering up there services to be nurses and make there country proud is the tale that is going to be unfolding , its intriguing its heartbreaking totally bizarre at points but it keeps you turning the pages your heart is in your mouth at many stages, willing them on I can not praise this book enough and highly recommend.

Was this review helpful?

Evelyn, Vita and Dot are American nurses who have completed a specialist flight training program, and are now qualified members of the Medical Air Evacuation Transport Squadron. After being wounded in action, to increase the soldiers chances of survival, they needed to get to a hospital for treatment and quickly. The solution, planes specially fitted out to carry around twenty six wounded patients, with one nurse, a medic, and a surgeon aboard to look after them during the flight.

The nurses leave for their first overseas posting, the destination is all very hush hush, and everyone’s feeling nervous. Dot, Evelyn and Vita become best friends, and they come from different walks of life. Evelyn’s mature of her age and sensible, her mother passed away when she was a teenager, she looked after her father and three younger sisters. Dot was orphaned at a young age, she was raised by her elderly grandparents, and she’s quiet and rather shy. Vita comes from a wealthy background, she’s confident and looks like a movie star.

They arrive in Sicily in 1943, a group of twenty six people are selected for a special mission, flying in a big Skytrooper and they come under enemy fire. The plane’s pilot Bobby Redfern, manages to preform an amazing crash landing, and they have no idea where they are? The crew’s behind enemy lines in Albania, with no form of communication and completely stranded. Local partisans come to their aid, not knowing if they can trust them, still in extreme danger and the nurses are scared.

Constantly on the move, having to stay one step ahead of the Germans, with few supplies, sleeping rough, and it doesn’t take long for everyone to struggle physically and mentally. Evelyn, Vita and Dot have all experienced tragedy in their lives, they’re much stronger than they think, it takes every ounce of courage, determination and effort for them to keep going, continue to believe they have a chance of being rescued and despite the terrible odds.

Under a Sky of Memories is a brilliant wartime story about three brave nurses, a handsome American pilot, a British agent and a local man called Stefa. I was totally hooked by the narrative after the first chapter, with a cast of gutsy characters, it’s a story about survival, in a brutal and remote place. I received a copy of this book from NetGalley and Amazon Publishing UK in exchange for an honest review, Soraya M. Lane at her best, a perfectly balance story, with a little romance, and five stars from me.

Was this review helpful?

I have read some books by this offer and I was so glad to see it on netgalley. First and foremost, thank you Netgalley, the publisher and also the author for letting me read this.

I’ve been a historical person since I was 10 years old. I’ve read just about every book there is to offer on nurses during WWII. Trust me, there’s not a lot.

They’re all American nurses that met in basic. They’re all firecrackers for sure.

What makes this book so special is the sisterhood these three ladies have. They have some extremely wonderful moments and sad ones. Ones you expect to see in a book of war. It is kinda like “This is our life now whether we like it or not.”

Evelyn, Vita, Dot…they were all so special. Never giving up on faith.

Another thing…I liked that this was based in south Europe. You never see books based in south Europe during WWII even though that is where a lot of things happened.

I cried. I laughed. I cried some more.

The ending, even though I did want it to end, was just the chefs kiss to wrap it up.

Was this review helpful?

On the surface, they couldn't have been more dissimilar - Vita, the beautiful heiress; Evelyn, who'd held her family together for years following her mother's death; and brokenhearted Dot, who longed for a family more than anything.. But as they worked their way through training, to be inducted into the Medical Air Evacuation Transport Squadron (MAETS) as nurses, they became inseparable...until a plane crash behind enemy lines leads one of them to be parted from the others. Based on the true story of a planeload of MAETS nurses and medics that crashed in Albania during the war, "Under a Sky of Memories" tells the stories of three remarkable women, and introduces you to the men they fall in love with during the course of their harrowing adventure. Will they all survive? I'm not saying -- you'll have to read the book to find out!

Was this review helpful?

Under a Sky of Memories by Soraya M. Lane is a fabulous WWII-era historical fiction that tells a gripping tale inspired by a true story of the disaster, survival, and rescue of a group behind enemy lanes in Albania. It is wonderful!

I have been a HUGE fan of Ms. Lane for quite some time and have read literally all of her books. This has to be one of my most favorites yet.

I had no clue about this true story of American women that were part of the Medical Air Evacuation Transport Squadron whose plane crashed into Albania during WWII. The story gives us insight into their accident and their survival until their final rescue. It is stunning that we know so little about this until recently. Their courage, determination, passion, drive, and heart just blew me away. The author’s ability to bring this story to life with such drama, suspense, detail, and emotion made me feel as if I was right there with them.

I also enjoyed the Author’s Note that gave us context on what was true and what was fictional. It was very informative. I loved every moment of it.

Cannot recommend this enough!

5/5 stars

Thank you NG and Amazon Publishing UK for this wonderful arc and in return I am submitting my unbiased and voluntary review and opinion.

I am posting this review to my GR and Bookbub accounts immediately ( as of 11/24/21 no BB listing has been created and link will be updated when it is available )and will post it to my Amazon, Instagram, and B&N accounts upon publication on 1/11/22.

Was this review helpful?

Under a Sky of Memories tells the story of three strong women, WWII nurses, who are ovecoming obstacles in their personal lives while helping the war effort. Dot is struggliing to get over a broken engagement, Evelyn has been surrogate mother to her younger siblings since their mother died, and Vita wants to do more with her life than be a debutante and marry a man her wealthy family approves of. All three women become a part of the MAETS - Medical Air Evacuation Transport Squadron - helping to airlift injured soldiers to safety. All three women find meaning in their lives - and this book has the satisfying ending that I love so well. Soraya M. Lane is becoming one of my new favorite authors! Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Was this review helpful?

Evelyn, Dot, and Vita all join up to serve in a new medical transport initiative during World War II. Each having their own reasons for volunteering despite how their families feel, the women form a tight bond as their training ends and their duty begins.

One medical mission they were sent on had multiple medics and nurses to transport a large number of injured soldiers. En route, transportation between the pilots and control towers was nonexistent because the pilots didn’t have the code to let the towers know they were not the enemy. Encountering turbulence and German planes, the transport plane crashes in an unknown area. When Evelyn and Vita leave with two of the pilots to find help for their twenty-six crew members, they encounter a resistance fighter who informs them that they are in Albania. He takes them to a shelter until they unexpectedly have to leave due to German soldiers nearby. When the group scatters and then meets up the next morning, some of the women are missing, including Dot. Not wanting to leave the area, but knowing that Germans were looking for them, the group makes the tough decision to push ahead in hopes of being rescued.

On the run in the mountains of Albania, they come across a British SOE who was also looking for them. The hopes of the group finding the missing nurses and getting out of Albania are met with obstacle after obstacle. What will happen to the group? Will they find Dot alive?

Strong female characters are at the core of this novel. This is my second Soraya Lane book, and I will be reading more. Like the first one of her books I read, I completed it in a day and found myself lost in the mountains with them, hoping and praying to get out alive. Lovers of WWII historical fiction will love the story. 5 ⭐️

#netgalley #arc #underaskyofmemories #sorayamlane

Was this review helpful?

UNDER A SKY OF MEMORIES by SORAYA M LANE is based on something that happened in 1943 when a group of American nurses and medics set out from Siciy to ferry injured soldiers to hospital and ended up crash landing in Albania, where they suffered incredible hardship for 63 days before being rescued.
The fictitious characters the author has brought in add real interest to the story, as we get an idea of what these brave people went through, together with the danger that they brought to the villagers who helped them. I like the way the author has given us some insight into the country of Albania and her people at that time in history.
Three young women, Evelyn, Vita and Dot, train as nurses and become part of the Medical Air Evacuatiin Transport Squadron, based in Sicily. They become close friends although they come from different backgrounds and each has her own reason for joining up. They set off on a mission to save even more wounded sodiers than usual, and end up stranded in Albania. As they, together with the other nurses, medics and pilots, struggle through unfrendly, occupied territory, we see their incedible strength of character.
There is some romance in this unlikely situation……..and that is all I am going to tell you for fear of spoiling the read for you!
I enjoyed the book, finding it exciting, inspiratinal, and really hard to put down.
I was given a free copy of the book by NetGalley from Amazon Publishing UK. The opinions in this review are completely my own.

Was this review helpful?

MAETS - Medical Air Evacuation Squadron. It’s amazing all the things you don’t learn in history class but can learn from reading historical fiction. Though the story itself is historical fiction, the things that brave men and women of the 807th squadron did are all real. These squadrons evacuated soldiers from field hospitals and got them to hospitals where they could get the medical treatment they needed.

We follow three very brave, very different women from the 807th, Evelyn, Vita and Dot. For everything these women go through within this story, it will leave your heart pounding and wanting more. From the horrid conditions they endured to the lifelong friendships developed you will devour every last page of this book.

Soraya Lane writes incredible historical fiction about the women of WW2 that if it has her name on it, it’s a definitely a MUST read. Her descriptions pull out your emotions as well as the vivid descriptions taking you to the places within the story.

Thank you #netgalley, #amazonpublishing and #SorayaLane for allowing me the opportunity to read this incredible story.

Was this review helpful?

I just love books by this author!!! Once again, she has me captivated! This book quickly engaged me and kept me turning pages! If you like historical fiction, this is for you! Thank you to the publishers for an advanced copy in exchange for my honest review.

Was this review helpful?

I previously read a book by Soraya M. Lane and enjoyed it, so when I saw this I was looking forward to requesting it. I’m so glad I did, because it was an absolutely fantastic book, and easily one of my favorite reads this year.

Nurses Evelyn, Dot, and Vita meet while training to become members of the Medical Air Evacuation Transport Squadron during WWII. Once they get to Sicily, al three are one a plane that gets lost and then crashes when the plane malfunctions during bad weather. When they discover they ended up in Albania, where they’re not only fighting against the Nazis, but also essentially fighting a civil war, the nurses, medics and pilots quickly realize the danger they’re in. When things start looking bleak, British SOE agent James Millard finds them. What comes next is a story of endurance and strength.

This was such an incredible read, even more so because although the characters are fictional, the story of the plane crashing in Albania and their subsequent plight was real. These women in particular were amazing, and as a reader, I was rooting for them to survive, realize their inner strength, and see them happy in the lives and their romances that were building up throughout the story. Soraya M. Lane wrote it perfectly, making these characters seems so real with their determination and she was able to convey the suspense and heartbreak these characters felt while still maintains the heart and goodness of our main characters. I enjoyed all 3 romantic interests, but this story for me was really the beauty of friendship between Evelyn, Vita and Dot.

I highly, highly recommend this, even if you don’t usually read historical fiction.

Thank you to Netgalley for an advance copy in exchange for an honest review.

Was this review helpful?

Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

I enjoy reading Soraya Lane's war books. They are always interesting and somewhat based on a little facts. Unlike a lot of war books hers are easy to read which is a plus for someone like me where history isn't my favorite genre. I love that hee books focus on the women during war.

Was this review helpful?

This was my first Soraya Lane book, but it will most definitely not be my last. I read A LOT of WWII historical fiction, but I try to get outside of the France/Germany area. This took me to whole new country: Albania. In all my reading, fiction and non-fiction, I've never even heard of these nurses/medics and what they endured. It's sad that it's taken so long, but I love that these stories are finally being brought into the light. Without authors like Ms. Lane, they may never go beyond scholars and I believe by presenting them as a historically-inspired fiction story these authors are helping make sure these heroes aren't forgotten. This book had a bit more romance than I would typically enjoy in my historical fiction, but it was written so beautifully that I actually found myself rooting for one of the potential couples, I won't say which though! I can't wait to read more of Ms. Lane's works!

Was this review helpful?

Absolutely loved this story about 3 friends, tested to the limit during the war. A great story that takes you to another world and another time. Definitely one to recommend

Was this review helpful?

Under a Sky of Memories by Soraya M. Lane was a wonderful book. It is the story of three American nurses in the Medical Air Evacuation Transport Squadron. Their job is to be on the planes that retrieve those injured soldiers from the front lines and transport them to a safe hospital for recovery and rehabilitation.

This story is based on a true event that occurred during the war when a large contingent of nurses and medics were flying to pick up wounded after being grounded by weather for days. The plane went down and this group of medical people was stranded behind enemy lines for over a month. This fictional account conveys the hardships and fear that these brave souls endured, not knowing if they would be rescued or remain stranded, and trying to escape being captured by the enemy.

I could not put this book down. Even though I knew it was a fictional account, I was riveted by the story. I always enjoy Ms. Lane’s writing and her books are among my most treasured. I highly recommend this book to those readers interested in novels about the war.

Was this review helpful?

A beautiful book based on a true event .. a story of three American nurses. Three women with different backgrounds and different reasons to join the Medical Air Evacuation Transport unit. The book is written very well .. characters are well developed. A story of friendship, courage, and sacrifice. My first book by this author - I am definitely going to read more books written by her.
Thank you to the Author, @netgalley and Lake Union Publishing for an Advance Reader Copy.

Was this review helpful?

Are hope and love enough to sustain you through war torn lands?

Soraya Lane's "Under a Sky of Memories" is a transformative novel about 3 American nurses who are part of the first Medical Air Evacuation Transport Squadron in WW2. Three different women, all with different reasons for joining this mission, are brought together and fighting for their lives when a rescue trip crash lands them in occupied Albania. Along with the other medics and their pilots, Vita, Dot and Evelyn struggle to find their way to safety and, hopefully, back home.

Soraya has a way of writing that truly brings the characters to life. I was on the edge of my seat living through these months in Albania with Vita, Dot and Evelyn. Not only were the main characters beautifully flawed and wonderful in their own ways, the side characters were built in ways where the story would have gaping without them. I was rooting for all them, in survival, in love and in their futures.
As a history nerd, I loved the clear research and detail that Soraya put into this book. While Vita, Dot and Evelyn were made up, the real members of the 807th MAETS including 13 nurses, 13 medics and 2 pilots survived across Albania through 1943 before being rescued in early 1944. In the authors note at the end of the book, Soraya talks about the real members of that unit and the Albanian underground who not only helped this Americans survive, but also refused to turn over their Jewish neighbors and friends and became a refuge for those who could it make it to them.

I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys historical fiction, war torn love stories and survivalist tales.
I cried tears over this book, both happy and sad. It's clearly a labor of love and the story is so beautifully told. I look forward to reading more of Soraya Lane's books in the future!

Thank you to Net Galley and the publisher for an ARC in exchange for my honest review.

Was this review helpful?

This was my first book by this author so I had no expectations.

What I enjoyed about the book was that it highlighted a part of WWII I had no prior knowledge of. So it was very interesting to read about the medical teams. And I enjoyed the different characters. They all had their own strength.

I have to be honest and say that after a while I skimmed the middle parts about them being stuck in Albania. It was a lot of walking and being hungry. The first and last parts were great reads. Lots of tension about what was about to happen.

Was this review helpful?

The Crash

An emotional and heartbreaking story that will stay with you for a long time. It is based on an actual event that took place during WWII although it is fiction with fictional characters. I really enjoyed the explanation of the event and how it was fictionalized to write this novel at the end of the story. I always love learning about historical events of which I know nothing. The crash of the transport plane carrying nurses and medical staff in 1943 was an event that I knew nothing about although I have read about the Air Evacuation Transport which consists of nurses and medical staff air flights of injured soldiers from field situations to medical facilities.

The story is of the nurses and medical staff aboard this medical transport which was thrown off course during a storm, was shot down by the German Army and crashed in Albania. It is the story of the survival of the staff aboard the plane and their two months of hiding and running from the Nazi's to try and return home.

It features three nurses, Evelyn, Dot and Vita. they trained together and fight to survive this strange country they have come to find themselves in. Vita is the pampered rich girl defying her parents to become a nurse, Evelyn leaves her family behind which she has cared for since the death of her mother, and Dot is an orphan fleeing from a broken engagement.

To make it interesting we throw in a carefree fun loving pilot, a hardened SOE officer, an Albanian boy and his family and a medic trying to make it home to his wife and child. Along with all the other's these are some featured characters.

This is quite a story and I will think of it long after reading the book. The courage, the determination and the heartfelt friendships that developed among these nurses is commendable. The story was well written and I loved the characters and the description of the country, the people and the customs.

It was a good read and I would recommend it.

Thanks to Soraya M. Lane for writing a great story, to Amazon Publishing U.K. for publishing it and to NetGalley for making it available to me.

Was this review helpful?

Wow this book was a page-turner. It kept me up half the night reading it. 😳 That’s not an exaggeration and doesn’t happen to me too often.

I most love that while it’s historical fiction, it’s based on an actual event during WWII.

~SPOILER ALERT🚨 ~ A plane ✈️ of U.S. nurses and medics who were part of the Medical Air Evacuation Team went down in German-occupied Albania and they survived nearly 2 months behind enemy lines before being dramatically rescued.

The book tells the story from the view of three fictional nurses with dramatically different backgrounds and personalities, that you’ll equally cheer for and come to love.

You’ll also get to know more about the Albanian 🇦🇱 culture and their amazing commitment to hospitality, even when they had so little to share and harboring any Allies or Jews meant certain death.

It’s surprisingly kinda a love story, or stories, which isn’t typically my favorite read. However, strong women, a dramatic event, perseverance, and enduring friendship all make for a great book.

I read her previous book, The Last Correspondent and would highly recommend that one too.

Thank you to NetGalley and Lake Union Publishing for the ARC.

Was this review helpful?

Thank you net galley for the advance reader copy of this novel. This was a great historical WWII fiction set in Albania. Three nurses are part of a medical evacuation team and crash in enemy territory. This is a tale of their journey and it is well written and researched. I enjoyed each of Vita, Dot and Evelyn's personalities and backgrounds. A great read!

Was this review helpful?

Under a Sky of Memories by Soraya M. Lane was such a beautiful sad story. This book was based on a true story. the story of how 26 Air Force nurses, pilots crash landed in Albania and through lots of hardships made it back to the United States. A true love story. If you love historical fiction read it.

Was this review helpful?

This book is based on a true story about nurses and medics crashlanding in Albania during ww2. It is about their struggle to survive. It is also a cute lovestory in all the darkness. I highly recommend this book

Was this review helpful?

Firstly I must thank The publishers and NetGalley for the opportunity to read read this advance copy.

I really enjoyed this historical novel, after reading a variety of books that were un-impressive. It was so nice to be able to finally read a novel that started at the beginning and worked through the story without any interruptions for flashbacks. The fact that this novel is a blend of fact and fiction made it even more enjoyable. This provided an insight into the amazing strength of character of the women’s contribution to the war effort, their commitment, resourcefulness and camaraderie. The contrasting background of the three nurses is well scripted as it unites these strangers. An excellent read. Thank you.

Was this review helpful?

I enjoyed this one massively, as I knew I would. The characters were crafted with such care and consideration and the history was incredibly interesting. Lane always has me falling in love and crying throughout her novels and this was no different. Another brilliant read, so grateful I got a chance to read it.

Was this review helpful?

Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for allowing me to read this amazing book. Under A Sky Of Memories is amazing! This book is expertly researched and so very well written. The book is based on an amazing event during World War 2. This is a story that will stay with you long after you finish.

Was this review helpful?

Wow, what an amazing story based on a true event during WWII. A plane load of nurses and medics are being flown in to assist in transportation of wounded soldiers. Unfortunately the plane crash lands in Albania in an area held by Nazis. The book tells the story of the entire group but centers on 3 nurses and follows them from begining till end, thru the crash, journey to be rescued and freedom. Cut off from communication or assistance from the squadron, they have to depend on each other and assistance from the local resistance when possible. They go thu terrifying dangers and events while hiding from the nazis and making their way to the coast and a chance of rescue.
I loved that Soraya was able to blend true events into such a great story using actual events woven skillfully into the story. You will want to keep reading to find out what happens and how it turns out.
Thank you to Net Galley, the Author and Publishers for this ARC in exchange for my honest opinion

Was this review helpful?

This book is beyond amazing. There's a little humour, some sadness,
moments that kept me on the edge of my seat. Every time I put this book down,
I could think of nothing else but to get back to it.
These three women were the best of friends even though they were very
different from each other. Each of them had a little something to hide that kept
me wondering when the truth would come out.
This is an excellent writer! She really builds up this story to make you
care for and fear for these characters' lives.
At this point, I'm very interested in reading everything she has written!

Thank you so much, NetGalley, Soraya M. Lane, and your publisher for allowing
me to read and review this early copy. It's phenomenal.

Was this review helpful?

Wow! A sweet and wonderful adventure back in time lovers of WWII fiction won’t want to miss! This is the story of three nurses who find love and adventure after a plane crash in Albania.

Was this review helpful?

Soraya Lane's World War II Historical Fiction novels are some of my absolute favorites. I love how she find some amazing women to learn about in her books and Under A Sky of Memories is no exception.

I'm a history person. I love reading non-fiction about women during WWII, especially those who served in the WAVES, WAC, code breakers, pilots and I just found out about the coolest group those who served as Flight Nurses in the MAETS. MAETS is Medical Air Evacuation Transport Squadrons and they helped with air evacuations of those wounded.

In Under A Sky of Memories we meet 3 flight nurses - Vita, Dot and Evelyn as they meet after training as they were heading to Italy. They quickly become friends and after a few flights where they were the nurse in charge of the care for the wounded men they were picked to serve on a special mission. When their transport flight crash lands in enemy occupied Albania will they find their way home?

YES, this is based on a true story of the 807th MAETS Squadron where 26 nurses and medics crashed in Albania in November 1943. How is this the first I'm hearing of this remarkable story of survival.

I love Soraya's writing style and this book is no exception. She combines the history with wonderful characters that you love, a little bit of drama and romance.

Even if you're not a WWII historical fiction fan you should read Under a Sky A Memories!

Was this review helpful?

In her latest novel, Soraya M. Lane brings history back to life with an actual event that occurred during WWII. Under A Sky of Memories tells the captivating tale of the 26 rescues following the crash of the 807th Medical Air Evacuation Transport Squadron in 1943 in Albania.

I loved learning more about such an important event I did not know happened. The characters’ friendships and sense of courage, determination, passion and resilience were impressive. The storyline was captivating, and the characters were crafted with such details and care. The author brings light on the role of women, and especially nurses in the medical corps during WWII were incredibly insightful and empowering.

I very much enjoyed the first half of the book, being a little more fast-paced and plot-driven than the latter half. A beautiful and enjoyable story I recommend to every WWII historical fiction enthusiast.

Was this review helpful?

UNDER A SKY OF MEMORIES by Soraya M. Lane is a beautifully-written and powerful story of three brave American women who trained as nurses and became part of Medical Air Evacuation Transport Squadron that was formed to airlift wounded soldiers from the battlefields to hospitals they wouldn’t otherwise be able to reach. Evelyn, Vita and Dot all have strong reasons to leave their lives behind and enlist to serve their country overseas. Although very different, these three woman unexpectedly become the closest of friends. During a critical mission with twenty-three other medics aboard, their plane crashes in German-occupied Albania behind enemy lines. With no way to communicate their location, they face unthinkable danger and hardship with only local Albanian partisan fighters to assist them. The courage and resilience of this group as they struggle to survive was awe-inspiring. I love when I learn something I never knew about World War II. This story is inspired by true events and real people. The records were only recently de-classified and the author’s extensive research as well as the fictional aspects she wove in truly brought this story to life. Don’t miss the Author’s Note at the end for even more insight. I really enjoyed this compelling story of friendship, love and survival and recommend it most highly. Thank you to the author, publisher and NetGalley for the chance to read and review an early copy.

Was this review helpful?

Visceral, Harrowing, And Heartbreaking. Yet again Lane manages to take an event out of WWII, fictionalize a story into it, and show just how real and relatable it must have been to have been the real people involved here. The motivations for our three primary women here are distinct but relatable, and their journeys through the tale are seemingly all too real - so many times, you're going to find yourself dreading that the worst is about to happen. In the end, you will likely shed tears of both happiness and heartbreak - and particularly when joined with the resources in the Author's Note, you'll likely learn a few things too. As in, despite both mine and my father's life long "obsession" with WWII (in his case due to how it shaped his father and in mine due to how it shaped *both* of my grandfathers in dramatically different ways), even I had never heard of this particular event that Lane bases the story around here. Once again a very fine piece of researched fiction from Lane, and very much recommended.

Was this review helpful?

On November 8, 1943, a plane full of nurses and medics from the Medical Air Evacuation Transport Squadron boarded a Douglas C-53 transport in Sicily for a 90-minute flight to the Italian mainland to pick up wounded soldiers from the front lines. Unfortunately, the mission didn’t go as planned and the plane crash-landed in German-occupied Albania. This is their story.

I’m so glad author Soraya Lane chose to retell this recently declassified account as I love her ability to instantly bring readers into the action. She is able to give us a taste of what it must have been like for these heroic nurses and medics of the 807th squadron. Lane highlights the crash landing, the toll of surviving in a country rife with danger, living with the knowledge that there was no way to communicate and possibly no way to get home and the harrowing attempts at reaching the evac transport on an airfield overrun with Germans!
Honoring Vita, Dot and Evelyn’s experience, Lane writes about the enduring power of female friendship. You’ll feel the bond between the characters and know that surviving for months and making it out of enemy territory alive would be miraculous and a real test of their friendship. Will the Albanians come to their rescue? Will the British special operations lieutenant be able to find them?

This survival against all odds five-star historical fiction story needs to be on your reading list come January 11, 2022.

I was gifted this advance copy by Soraya Lane, Amazon Publishing UK, and NetGalley and was under no obligation to provide a review.

Was this review helpful?

Loved this book! Full of suspense that kept me on the edge of my seat (not surprising since Soraya Lane is a master at writing suspenseful scenes), I enjoyed immersing myself in this fictional account of a true event that happened during WWII in Europe. There are three points of view here. All of them are from American nurses who meet during their training to support the troops fighting against the Nazi forces. They subsequently become fast friends. Their job is to provide care for soldiers injured in battle as they are evacuated in planes flown out by Air Force pilots. A harrowing job not all are cut out for which is why they are so meticulously trained and then hand-picked for suitability. I was astounded that I hadn't read about what happened before now, but after reading the author's notes at the end, I understood. There is so much in this book besides the actual events though. There is love and heartbreak, uncertainty and fear. But mostly, there is a fierceness among the main characters that exemplifies the extraordinary bravery they had to maintain even when they didn't think they could. Putting this book down for bare necessities (such as sleep) is almost not an option. You will want to find out what happens, page by page. Thank you to Soraya Lane and NetGalley for my early copy. Pub date is January 11, 2022.

Was this review helpful?

How I enjoyed this historical fiction novel! Ten stars!
World War ll is in full swing and in need of nurses to assist with medical transport planes and aid the medics to bring home wounded soldiers.
Three women who become the best of friends, similar, yet very different take the challenge to sign up for this dangerous mission after completing nurses training.

Things don't go the way they are planned and they crash on enemy territory. Will they survive? Can they ever make it back home?

Strength, determination, heartbreak, heartache, and shear terror are portrayed in this story that is based on true facts.
You will be on the edge of your seat as you travel with this amazing group of nurses and share in their experiences.
It is a well detailed story that will definitely stay with me a long, long time!

Was this review helpful?

Are you looking for a great historical historical novel with wonderful characters? Then look no further! Filled with wonderful friendships and a little romance, this book treats us to the tale of 3 friends who are nurses in a new type of unit. These women are part of a unique unit that flies in to field hospitals and transports by air the wounded to a more permanent hospital that can more successfully treat their wounds. This is a great book from a wonderful author!

Was this review helpful?

This book is an amazing work of historical fiction, one of the few 5 star reviews I've granted this year.

Evelyn, Vita and Dot are Americans from different walks of life who signed up during the war to be trained as flying nurses. After training, they were sent to Italy as part of the 807th MAETS, a squadron that flies medics and nurses into war-torn areas and picks up the wounded for transport to hospitals.

During a one of a kind assignment, 13 nurses and several medics are sent on a large plane to pick up a large number of wounded. Tragedy strikes, and the group is left on their own to survive. I'll stop there because I don't write spoilers, but will say this is a story of heroism, strength, resiliency and love that will stay with you for a long time after you close the book.

Thanks to the author, publisher and NetGalley for the opportunity to read this ARC, but my opinions are my own.

Was this review helpful?

Review - Under a Sky of Memories by Soraya M. Lane
This was a remarkable story about three women serving as flight nurses in the Medical Air Evacuation Flight Squadron during WWII. Their mission: to transport, triage and manage pain for soldiers who are in the most dire of circumstances. Their plane comes under attack and crashes behind enemy lines. Who will survive and will they make it to safety? This was a quick and easy read but also a highly engaging read. This book checked so many boxes for me!
✔️daring mission
✔️dangerous rescue
✔️page turner
✔️action and suspense
✔️tear jerker 😢
✔️heartwarming 🥰
Well done @sorayalaneauthor 👏🏻
Coming January 11th, 2022
Thank you to @netgalley and @amazonpublishing for this review copy. 🥰
#bookstagram #canadianbookstagram #underaskyofmemories #sorayamlane #netgalley #amazonpublishing #bookadoration

Was this review helpful?

(Actual rating 3.5/5)

Thank you NetGalley and Amazon Publishing UK for the chance to read and review this book before publishing!

This novel focuses on three nurses-Evelyn, Vita, and Dot-who become best friends during training for a special squadron in WWII. Throughout the book we experience the tragedy of this situation from each of the main characters while simultaneously learning about their lives before the war.

I had a hard time figuring out a rating for this simply because the synopsis was incredibly misleading. The synopsis lead me to believe this was going to be action packed the whole time (kind of like The Alice Network or The Nightingale) but it really wasn’t. It was much more of a light introduction to WWII fiction with a heavy subplot of romance. If I knew that going in I likely wouldn’t have picked it up BUT putting my expectations aside, I did enjoy this book a lot!

I really loved seeing how each of their lives before WWII influenced their relationships and the actions they took while in such a dire situation. There were many parts in this book that got my heart pounding with anticipation and equally as many that warmed my heart. I truly enjoyed seeing each of these women grow throughout the book and confront the insecurities of their pasts. These women were definitely strong and capable but their reactions to the tragedy felt much like what any person would feel if they crash-landed in enemy territory in the middle of a war.

This book wasn’t as intense as some WWII fiction I’ve read so if you’ve been meaning to try it, this might be a good place to start! Although Under A Sky of Memories isn’t categorized as romance I would say romance is definitely the subplot. Historical fiction/romance lovers might want to check this out as well. I was definitely rooting for the love interests throughout the book!

Was this review helpful?

Under A Sky of Memories by Soraya M. Lane was based on the true and harrowing experiences of the 807th Medical Air Evacuation Transport Squadron (MAETS). Their terrifying ordeal was kept classified for decades after it first occurred. Soraya M. Lane was able to recount the details of their ordeal in this historical fiction story that was inspired by actual true historical events. Her research was impeccable. As in all of her previous books, and in this, her newest book, Soraya M. Lane’s primary characters were female, strong, determined and independent. Even the male characters were authentic and likable for the most part. Many of the actual occurrences that she incorporated in Under A Sky of Memories were written to closely resemble the real events or people. That included the vigorous training the nurses of the Medical Air Evacuation Transport Squadron underwent, the actual crash of their plane, some of the villages in Albania and even the local partisans closely resembled the type of people they portrayed. Under A Sky of Memories was about three women nurses. Each was so different from the other but despite their differences they each forged beautiful friendships with the other.

Vita came from a privileged background. She was vivacious, always put together just so and fun. Vita had lost her older brother in the War and was determined to do her part for the war effort. Her mother, on the other hand, was set on having Vita marry the “right” boy. Vita wanted nothing to do with helping her mother carry out her plan so she ran away and trained to become a nurse for MAETS. Upon her leaving, her family threatened to cut her off from her inheritance. Dot was an insecure, shy and quiet young woman. Her close family members were all dead. She was all alone. She desperately wanted to fall in love and acquire a new family. She had thought she had found that person in Peter. His family felt that Dot was beneath them. As desperately as she tried, Dot could not win them over. Peter ended up breaking off their engagement the night before Dot left for her nursing training. Too embarrassed and heartbroken by Peter’s abandonment, Dot continued to wear his ring around her neck and pretended that she was still engaged. Evelyn had recently lost her own mother. She had stepped right into the role of mother and caretaker without hesitation. Her father was lost without her mother and her younger siblings needed her. She had no choice but to assume that role. Evelyn was best described as practical, determined, a motivator and a leader at times. She wanted to do something helpful for the war. When Evelyn told her father her plan he was proud of her and encouraged her to pursue her dreams. All three women met during their training to become nurses for MAETS. Although, they were from very different backgrounds, had personality traits that were so different from one another and decided to train to become a nurse in MAETS for different reasons, they ultimately became the best of friends.

Vita, Dot and Evelyn were all part of the 807th Squadron. Each one had been on several missions already to help transport badly injured servicemen to nearby hospitals with the help of their assigned medic and pilot. Rumors were spreading that the best nurses and medics were going to be chosen for a one of a kind mission. Instead of sending one nurse and a medic to attend to the most critical cases, twenty-six Army Air Force flight nurses and medics were going to be chosen to rescue a record breaking number of servicemen at one time. Despite all the careful planning and selections, no one had anticipated or had been aware of the severe weather headed their way, changes to codes needed for clearance or enemy planes in the area. With everything working against them, the plane was forced to crash land. All twenty-six nurses and medics plus the crew survived the crash. They had landed in Albania, an occupied country. Their ordeal was just about to begin.

Under A Sky of Memories was an exceptional work of historical fiction. It was an engrossing story that centered around strong women, friendship, hope, humanity, bravery, determination trust and even love. I had a hard time putting this book down. The characters were memorable and have stayed with me even after I finished reading their story. I knew nothing about the ordeal these brave women and men faced in Albania until I read this book. It is hard to imagine that those brave nurses, medics, pilot and crew were sworn to secrecy for so many years. They could not share the events of their ordeal with anyone. Soraya M. Lane has become one of my favorite authors and I eagerly await her next book. I highly recommend this book.

Thank you to Lake Union Publishing for allowing me to read this advanced digital copy of Under A Sky of Memories by Soraya M. Lane through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

Was this review helpful?

As a first time reader of this author, I look forward to reading more of her novels. Based on a true story during WWII, the author tells a story of courage, determination and survival. Readers will follow three nurses, part of MAET as they train to support the wounded being flown out of Italy. The endurance of a crash and survival in Albania was amazing. Loved learning about this little known part of history. Highly recommended!

Was this review helpful?

I’m a little bit speechless. I absolutely loved this novel - a solid 10/10 🌟

A historical fiction based on true events, set during WW2, and told through 3 POV’s.
It’s the year 1943: Evelyn, Vita, and Dot have trained to be nurses and are members of the 807th Medical Air Evacuation Transport Squadron. After facing a setback, a larger crew of 26 nurses/medics are rounded up to make up for their lost time transporting wounded soldiers. One plane crash later, and they find themselves deep in enemy territory in Albania.

This novel features female friendship, growth, survival, and romance. Very well written - the author gave us a story set during the war without it overly screaming WW2 or feeling like a history lesson, if you get what I mean.
The epilogue had me looking like: 🥺

Overall, thoroughly pleased and surprised because this is normally not a subject I’d like to read about.

[Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the eARC]

Was this review helpful?

Based on the GR average rating, I am in the minority on my opinion on this book. I give it a 3.5 stars. While it was an overall good story, it wasn’t quite what I expected after reading the synopsis, and I found myself having a hard time staying with it. I am not sure what the disconnect was for me but maybe I will pick it up and try it again at a later date.

This story follows three women in 1943 — Evelyn, Vita and Dot, who have agreed to go on a dangerous mission. After their plane goes down, leaving them in danger and without a lifeline, they begin their journey to try and reach help, while trudging through occupied Albania. They’re constantly having to try to stay one step ahead of the Germans and think quick and fast on their feet. Peril could be just around the corner.

Pub date is January 11, 2022. Again, I appear to be in the minority, so if the story line sounds interesting to you, I’d recommend picking it up and judging for yourself. It wasn’t that it was bad or not worth reading, it just wasn’t exactly what I was expecting.

Thank you to NetGalley and Lake Union Publishing for the ARC!

Was this review helpful?

This book is a master class on the ability to weave the horrors of war with the enduring hope of the human spirit. Soraya M. Lane exquisitely examines the often forgotten strength of ordinary women during the most arduous of times in history. This gut-wrenching tale will stay with you long after you read the final words.

Was this review helpful?

I received a copy of this in exchange for an honest review. I know nothing about this part of WWII. This book was very well written and I loved getting to know the 3 nurses and what they went through. This is not your typical WWII book, it talks about Albania and how the war was in that country.

Was this review helpful?

Wow! What an exciting, edge of your seat story. Based on true events, Under a Sky of Memories gives an account of three American nurses and their fight for survival behind enemy lines. Evelyn, Vita and Dot became fast friends at the beginning of their journey and I felt apart of their friendship and sisterhood. The story was fast-paced and I found myself holding my breath at times! I also found myself googling Albania, a country I don't think I have encountered in a WW2 story yet. Excellent read, I've added a few more Soraya M Lane books to my TBR!! Thank you NetGalley and Amazon Publishing UK for this advanced copy.

Was this review helpful?

Set during WWII in America, Sicily and Albania, this is a fantastic historical fiction story based on true events which makes it all the more believable and compelling. Friendship, love, trust and hope are themes and the story is told from the perspectives of three very different American women, Evelyn, Vita and Dot. The vigorous physical training they went through as nurses and their arduous mission to transport wounded soldiers are absolutely fascinating and are told with a vibrancy which really makes the characters live and breathe. Their relationships with each other and with others, especially families and men they love, are brilliantly written. Lane's writing is simple but evocative and lovely. I love stories drawn from historical facts.

The women have no idea where life will take them and when...if...they will return home. What they encounter is astonishing, from a plane crash to starving to hiding to being hunted. Very well researched and cleverly told.

My favourite aspects are the unique flight transporting premise as well as the settings in Sicily (one of my favourite destinations) and the Albania experiences. Historical Fiction readers should definitely seek this out, well worth your time. Also a great Historical Fiction introduction book if you are contemplating trying it.

My sincere thank you to Amazon Publishing UK and NetGalley for the privilege of reading this fabulously beautiful book.

Was this review helpful?

Under a Sky of Memories is an outstanding and heartfelt book about three nurses who served during WWII. Based on a true story, we follow Evelyn, Dot, and Vita through a harrowing ordeal when their plane crashes in a remote area of Albania. Author Soraya Lane does a great job, as always, finding an obscure moment in history and giving it a personal touch with characters who we truly care about. This is a book that once you start, you will not want to put down, completely captivated by the story and especially the people who live on the pages of this novel.

Was this review helpful?

Loved this WWII fiction that focused on Nurses during tthe war which quite frankly we need more of in historical fiction.

Was this review helpful?

I love this author books and this was no exception!! I loved the characters and the story was amazing!! Highly recommend!!

Was this review helpful?

What a brilliant WW2 story.
This follows three friends, Dot, Evelyn and Vita who have trained to become nurses to help the wounded soldiers during the war.
They leave behind their families to begin their new life of which they are both frightened of the unknown and excited to be helping out. They have no idea of what lies in store for them. Their training did not fully prepare them for the 'real' war.
All three are flown with other nurses on a trial mission but their plane is brought down but fortunately were found by people who wanted to help them. They then found out they were in Albania!
Dot becomes separated from the other two and the story follows all three women. Lots of highs and lows to follow but the storyline does not fail to hook you in.
I found this a real page turner, eager to find out what will happen to all of them.
This is not only a story about the war but of friendship and romance. It's all in there.
Highly recommend.

Was this review helpful?

Diesen Roman durfte ich dank Netgalley vorab lesen – vielen Dank an dieser Stelle. Das Buch wird dieser Tage nun im englischen Original erscheinen, bis die deutsche Version herauskommt (wenn!), dürfte es noch dauern – also hier ein Aufruf an die deutschen Leser: wagt euch an das Original, ich muss gleich am Anfang sagen, es lohnt sich 😊!
Hierum geht’s: Wir sind in Sizilien, Catania, 1943. Hier ist der Army Stützpunkt der MAETS, der Medical Air Evacuation Transport Squadron, einer Einheit, die speziell dafür da ist, verwundete Soldaten aus den Krisengebieten auszufliegen. Hier finden sich drei junge Frauen, die ihrem alten Leben entliehen möchten und ihrem Land dienen wollen. Vita, Erbin aus reichem Hause, mit rebellischem Herzen, möchte nicht als Prinzessin leben, sondern ihrem Leben einen Sinn geben. Die schüchterne Dot, die nach dem Tod ihrer Eltern und Grosseltern keine Familie mehr hat und von ihrem Verlobten schmählich abserviert wurde, muss sich komplett neu (er)finden. Und dann ist da noch die praktisch veranlagte Evelyn, die sich nach dem Tod ihrer Mutter in der Verantwortung für ihre jüngeren Geschwister gesehen hat und nun einen Beruf ergreifen will, der Sinn hat. Die drei unterschiedlichen Mädels freunden sich während ihrer Krankenschwesterausbildung miteinander an, und teilen ihr neues Leben miteinander.
Und dann kommt ein Einsatz, der alles verändern wird: Die drei Freundinnen werden für eine Sondermission ausgewählt, die allerdings komplett schiefläuft. Das Einsatzflugzeug kommt von der Route ab und stürzt ab, und wider aller Wahrscheinlichkeiten überlebt zwar die komplette Mannschaft den Absturz, befindet sich aber in unbekanntem Feindesland, und es beginnt ein Survivaltrip mit ungewissem Ausgang. Als amerikanische Truppe sind sie nicht nur von den Nazis bedroht, sondern befinden sich plötzlich im Bürgerkrieg eines Landes, von dem die meisten vorher noch nichtmals den Namen kannten – Albanien.
Spannende Lage, und interessanterweise eine historisch komplett echte Lage. Die MAETS gab es tatsächlich so in Sizilien, und auch genau diesen Flugzeugabsturz über Albanien hat es auch so gegeben. Natürlich sind die Protagonisten vollkommen frei erfunden, aber die historischen Ereignisse sind belegt, und die Autorin beschreibt im Nachwort, wie fasziniert die von den Berichten gewesen ist. Albanien liegt ja genau gegenüber von Italien und besticht mit atemberaubenden Landschaften, aber der Zivilisationsstandard in den 40ern war um einiges niedriger als im westlichen Europa, und hier gestrandet zu sein, hat dem medizinischem Army-Team so ziemlich alles abverlangt. Das war wirklich superspannend, hier als Leser dabei zu sein. Für mich war das auch ein Ausflug in ein Land, von dem ich nicht so wirklich viel weiss, was mir sehr gut gefallen hat.
Die Autorin hat bereits mehrere andere historische Romane veröffentlicht, die alle zu den Zeiten des zweiten Weltkriegs spielen, und sie fokussiert sich immer auf starke Frauenpersönlichtkeiten. Ich kannte Ms Lane vorher nicht, das war jetzt mein erstes Buch von ihr, aber man merkt, sie kennt sich aus in Bezug auf diese Ära. Ich hatte den Eindruck, dass alles extrem gut historisch (und militärhistorisch) recherchiert war. Super interessant beschrieben.
Das Spannungslevel war sowieso permanent hoch. Die Autorin weiss den Leser zu fesseln. Es wird immer abwechselnd aus dem Leben und Fühlen von Dot, Vita und Evelyn erzählt, und die drei sind mir total ans Herz gewachsen. Ich habe völlig mit den Mädels mitgefühlt und gelitten, und natürlich auch gelacht. Neben dem Überlebenskampf in Albanien gab es auch frühliche Ereignisse, und natürlich auch eine Prise Romantik….es war alles dabei; das war grosses Kino.
Ich war begeistert, ich verteile 5 Sterne, und eine grosse Leseempfehlung! Und die Autorin werde ich mir merken!

Was this review helpful?

Under a Sky of Memories by Soraya M. Lane is World War II Historical Fiction set in occupied Albania. Three American nurses and a group of medics plan to serve their country by caring for wounded soldiers during air transport. Their mission of nursing changes to fighting for survival after their plane crash lands. An unforgettable and harrowing tale based on the true story of the 807th Squadron’s escape from Albania during World War II. Ms. Lane’s latest book is full of action with realistic characters and excellent historical notes.
I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own. I appreciate the opportunity and thank the author and publisher for allowing me to read, enjoy and review this book. 5 Stars

Was this review helpful?

Under A Sky of Memories ⛑

Rating : ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Pub date : January 11th, 2022

“War took everything from me, but somehow it’s also given me something beautiful, too.”

What an absolutely incredible story of sacrifice, courage, friendship, love, selflessness, and resilience. The story starts off in Kentucky 1943, giving you a brief overview of 3 of the main characters lives. Evelyn, Dot & Vita. We soon learn what has driven them all to becoming apart of the 807th squadron.

Evelyn, lives at home with her widowed father who has never had the same “shine” since her mother passed. Evelyn is the woman of the house and cares for her father and two sisters. She wanted a break free from that kind of responsibility and wanted to do something of purpose with her life, even though leaving her father and sisters was one of the hardest thing she’d ever done.

Dot, lost her parents in a terrible accident. After becoming engaged and believing that she could still have the opportunity to have a new family with her soon to be husband Peter, he breaks off the engagement because he is in love with someone else. If that isn’t bad enough, the woman who she tried so hard to please, Peter’s mother, asks Dot what she did for her son to break off their engagement because her son would never behave that way.

Vita. Evelyn & Dot were immediately intimidated by Vita. They described her as a porcelain doll. On the train when everyone was sweltering and disheveled Vita looked perfectly put together and just had this confidence that neither one of them had. Vita’s parents tried arranging for a marriage for her that she did not want & even threatened to disown her if she went forward with becoming a volunteer nurse. After losing her brother in battle Vita has never been the same. Losing her older brother in such a courageous act encouraged her to do the same even if that meant that she wouldn’t have any family to come home to.

This gripping novel takes you, along with the these nurses, to places you would never even fathom. Even amidst some of the hardest of times the 807th squadron went through, they never lost hope.

Was this review helpful?

This book was so good! It had me at page one and I couldn’t read it fast enough. Three girls all nurses who go on a mission together only for their plane to be shot down.
What follows is their courageous journey back. I liked all three main characters, I do wish there was more about Vita after the war. I don’t think I was quite ready for this book to end, I wanted a few more chapters.
Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for the early copy

Was this review helpful?

Soraya M Lane has created another cast of engaging, gutsy characters whose stories draw you in immediately. The friendship that exists between Dot, Evelyn, and Vita - three women from entirely different walks of life - is inspiring, and their collective bravery and tenacity leave you cheering them on. A tragic and yet inspiring story based on a recently discovered truth, this compelling WWII tale educates as it captivates.

Was this review helpful?

What a book. If you like WW2 stories based on truth you’ll love this. A mixture of romance and adventure. A wonderful look at this particular group of Pilots, Nurses and Medics who crash landed on a mission during WW2 to take wounded service men from the frontline back to medical base. They had undergone numerous flights but due to bad weather military personnel decided to send 30 staff to do a major mission but due to bad weather settling in they went off course and crashed onto Albania which was being occupied by Germans. Based on true story the characters are amazing and believable and the book is easy to read and follow. Thanks Soraya your publisher and NetGalley.

Was this review helpful?

Thank you Netgalley for an ARC to read and review.

Under a Sky of Memories is a touching and beautifully written story about three nurses who befriend one another in the midst of WWII. Dot, Vita and Evelyn joined the 807th Medical Air Evacuation Transport Squadron, each hoping to prove something to themselves and to their families.

In one of their missions to transport wounded soldiers, the plane they are on crashes leaving the entire group of 2 dozen medics and nurses stranded in what they will later learn is Albania. The group now stranded must do whatever it takes to survive, as they wait to be rescued, and their survival depends greatly on the generosity and bravery of the Albanians who help them.

This is a story about the friendship forged between the three women and a hint of romance with the men they meet. A definite must-read, of a story that shows you a different side of what happened during WWII.

Was this review helpful?

Under A Sky of Memories by Soraya Lane is a wonderfully written story inspired by American nurses and medics during WWII. A story of three different women trained to be nurses for the Medical Air Evacuation Transport Squadron. These women board a plane to help the wounded soldiers get the help they need but not knowing what lies ahead for them. This story and the characters are real and captivating! Being a nurse myself I found that I was so able to relate and lose myself in this story! The friendship, love, trust and hope is truly inspiring. This book grabbed me and my heartstrings and did not let go until the last page. The courage of these women is exemplary. They form a bond that nothing or no one can break. This story will stay with me for a very long time.

If you love historical fiction/WWII stories I highly recommend you read this beautifully written story. This is my first book by this outstanding author and I look forward to reading more from her.

Thank you NetGalley, Soraya Lane and Lake Union Publishing for an advanced copy of this heartfelt story in exchange for my honest and unbiased review.
# netgalley #underaskyofmemories #sorayalane #lakeunionpublishing #arc
#historicalfiction #nurses

Was this review helpful?

This newest novel by Soraya Lane takes us back to WWII where 3 American nurses (and their group) end up stranded in Albania fighting for their lives. Dot, Vita and Evelyn joined the 807th Medical Air Evacuation Transport Squadron, each hoping to prove something to themselves and to their families. One of their missions to transport wounded soldiers ends up crashing after leaving Sicily, leaving their entire group of 2 dozen medics and nurses stranded in what they later find out is Albania. As they make their way through the small Albanian villages, they have to be careful to stay hidden from the Nazis that are crawling all over. Dot gets separated from the group and Vita and Evelyn desperately try to find anyone who can help their group communicate with the Allies so they can be rescued. Their survival depends greatly on the generosity and bravery of the Albanians who help them.

I enjoyed this novel because I knew nothing about this medical transport squadron. The novel has fictional characters but the crash of the 807th squadron did indeed occur. The files were classified until recently and the survivors were not allowed to speak about their ordeal. All 3 women form a strong bond of friendship with each other and end up finding love through their ordeal. While I find the "romantic aspect" of the storyline a bit unbelievable, it does make it appealing to a broader audience.

Thank you to NetGalley and Soraya Lane for this advanced copy.

Was this review helpful?

What I love about Soraya Lane is the "you are there" quality to her histfic novels and the way she crafts characters you grow to care about. You "live" her tales, not just read them, and this is clearly the case with her newest, UNDER A SKY OF MEMORIES.

The book is based on a true story that occurred in 1943, when members of the Medical Air Evacuation Transport Squadron attempted to fly wounded soldiers from Sicily to treatment and their plane crash landed in Albania.

What a yarn! My heart was in my mouth as three American nurses, Evelyn, Dot and Vita, try to save lives and survive horrendous hardship in German-occupied territory. I swiftly turned the pages and read this is two sittings, so gripped by the addictive narrative and the need to know if they survived.

Highly recommended for lovers of historical fiction, WWII novels in unique settings, and stories that sing with authenticity. Out January 11.

Thanks to the author, Amazon Publishing UK, Lake Union, and NetGalley for the ARC; opinions are mine.

#UnderaSkyofMemories #NetGalley

Was this review helpful?

Soraya M. Lane’s UNDER A SKY OF MEMORIES will immerse you from the first page as you follow Evelyn, Vita, and Dot in their determination to contribute to the war effort. A work of historical fiction based on an actual event that occurred during WWII, Lane has created characters and a storyline that will have you rooting for the three friends.
Evelyn, Vita, and Dot all join the War effort for different reasons, but all have the same goal: help wounded soldiers get the care they need. Trained first as nurses, then as elite flight nurses, they arrive in Sicily to help transport severely injured soldiers from field hospitals to the well-equipped and staffed base hospitals and give them a fighting chance at living and going home. After many weeks of successful transports, they are chosen for a daring mission that goes horribly wrong, leaving them and the rest of their group stranded in the wrong country and behind Nazi lines. They must find strength they didn’t know they had and rely on each other to survive and find a way home.
This novel shone a light on yet another part of WWII I hadn’t heard of: both the flight nurses and the situation they found themselves in. This was well-researched by Lane, and her writing style presented the story in a way that I felt right there with the characters. Lane created characters and a plot that was hard to put down.
Thanks to the publisher for the opportunity to read an advanced copy of the book. All opinions are my own and freely given.
#UnderaSkyofMemories #SorayaMLane #LakeUnionPublishing

Was this review helpful?

Under a sky of memories by Saraya M Lane.
Sicily, 1943. Three American women, all nurses in the Medical Air Evacuation Transport Squadron, are determined to do all they can for their country. Vita is fun-loving, Dot shy and sweet-natured, and Evelyn practical and determined, but for all their differences, a life of military service pulls the three together as firm friends.
A good read with good characters. A little slow but readable. 3*.

Was this review helpful?

Three very different American girls come together to train as nurses and join the Medical Air Evacuation Transport Squadron where they will be expected to move to the WW2 front line, with a medic and pilot, and recover injured military personnel. Vita rich socialite who wants more to life than a predetermined husband, Dot shy and just dumped by her fiancé and Evie tired of being surrogate to siblings and father after the death of her mother. They come together in training and are sent to the front in Europe. They have a couple of sorties each but then are put together in a large plane to undertake a massive recovery mission. They crash and, for the next couple of months, have to survive behind enemy lines in Albania. There is a lot about this, rather too much to my mind and I would have liked some more earlier focus on their individual work recovering injured men. There is a lot of harrowing trips through the snow, without food or water, unknowing whether the locals are partisan or enemy, not to mention the ever increasing presence of the Nazis. Surprisingly only one of the group is injured seriously during the crash. This is all very well researched and written but just goes on for too long I'm afraid; there's also romance for all three which seems rather contrived and predictable. Thanks to NetGalley and Amazon Publishing UK for an advance copy in exchange for my honest review.

Was this review helpful?

This is another great WWII read. Based on a true story of thirty nurses, medics, and pilots, who crash landed in Albania and were successfully extracted, but could not tell their incredible tale until decades later when the information was declassified.
While the three main characters, American nurses, are factionalized, the author has you on the edge of your seat wondering how the bedraggled, starving group will outlive their next challenge evading the Nazis and Albanian traitors.
There is history, heroism, and plenty of suspense to keep you turning the pages.

Was this review helpful?

I received this book from the publisher through Netgalley for review and all thoughts and opinions are my own.
This is a perfect example of historical fiction done well. Three nurses face their past and a harrowing future during wartime. Each woman has a story to tell and a past to face. What price is real freedom? It costs personally for each of these three women. The characters are strong and relatable. The book is written in alternating points of view, sometimes that makes a novel choppy but not in this case! Well written, always enjoyable to read anything this author writes.

Was this review helpful?

In 1943, the Medical Air Evacuation Transport Squadron take flight. For the first time, American nurses would join doctors and medics to transport the wounded directly from the field to the hospital for a better chance of survival. Three nurses - Vita, Dot & Evelyn are teamed up together on the same squadron and all determined to make a difference for their country and servicemen. All three ladies couldn’t be different, but they form an unbreakable bond. Together they were part of a group of twenty-three other medics/nurses selected for one of the biggest missions for MAETS. Unfortunately, that it becomes a mission of survival as their plane crashed in Nazi occupied Albania. Trapped together, these ladies face the hardest mission possible: survival.

I had never heard of MAETS, so this was such a great WW2 era story. The author’s note was a great follow up. The fact that this was classified for so longer is crazy. These people went through so much and even so many years after WW2 they could not talk about it. I loved the bonds created between the 3 women, but also loved the side of romance each woman has throughout the story. This was my first book by the author, but certainly would not be my last. She did a great job capturing the emotions through the story.

Thank you to @netgalley for this advanced copy in exchange for my review.

Was this review helpful?

A new and outstanding book by one of my favorite authors Soraya M. Lane is Under a Sky of Memories. I read almost any fiction genre and have my favorite top two or three authors in each one. Soraya is on the top of my list for Historical Fiction. She is again one of those authors that I don’t even have to know what the book is about before I jump right in and start reading. She is outstanding.

The first book I read of hers was The Last Correspondent. I didn’t think I would like a book about a female War Correspondent. I didn’t think I wanted to be that close to war and all that comes with it. What I found out is this author hones in on the human aspects of the war. We learn what the characters are going through mentally, the toll the war is taking on them and their loved ones and how it affects the country that is involved in the war in the setting of the book. I have learned a lot about WWII while reading her books. The human side of the war. It is not always the easiest way to learn about war. Human emotions are complicated and hits you in your heart. For me? That’s where it counts.

This book is not different. It is about three woment that sign up to be trained as nurses who will be part of a team that will transport wounded men from the front lines to a hospital that can save their lives. We saved many men’s lives by changing over to a system allowing them to get the treatment they would need to survive their injuries. These women were in a plane that crashed on the Albanian shore. They were stranded there and we follow them and all of the collegues with them in their fight for survival.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from #AmazonPublishing via #Netgalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

Was this review helpful?

Under A Sky of Memories by Soraya Lane is a beautiful story about friendships that become a sisterhood and strong family. Absolutely love historical fiction that puts me right in the middle of mud and hunger, the tears and the laughter. When I finished this beautiful story, I was hugging my kindle with the satisfaction of a beloved story!

Was this review helpful?

1943, Sicily
Three American nurses in the Medical Air Evacuation Transport Squadron leave their homes to do their part in war. Vita, Evelyn and Dot are very different and each have their own reasons for taking part in the war and their experiences in war change them forever.
On one intense mission, their plane crash-lands in occupied Albania, behind enemy lines. They must depend on each other, and become close. Imagine being trapped and feeling like there is no way out and all your senses are tested. No communication. They make an incredible decision that tests their strength as they trek through enemy territory while they try to survive.
Who will survive? What will they endure? Do they have enough supplies? The physical and mental strength is beyond imaginable!
Another beautifully written novel by Soraya M. Lane. I highly recommend this novel.

Was this review helpful?

A great WW2 story with a difference. Three nurses are among the medical staff who are involved in a plane crash that leaves them behind enemy lines in Albania and they have to fight for their lives against all odds to survive. Great story with lovely characters who's differences helped then to blend together. A story that will stay with you

Was this review helpful?

I loved this book! I have read a lot of Soraya Lane’s books and this is one of my top favorites. I’ve read another book about the nurses who flew and it was like I was being told a story. With this one it was like I was in the story. It was so much better! I’ll be looking out for more of her books to come!

Was this review helpful?

Under a Sky of Memories
by Soraya M. Lane

"Victoria, you can get all those books out of the library, you don't need to go to college," he said. "A woman full of that much information would become tiresome, anyway."

Under a Sky of Memories is a work of fiction inspired by actual historical events. In November 1943, approximately 30 members (nurses, medics & crew) of the US Army Air Force's 807th Medical Air Evacuation Transport Squadron (MAETS) were travelling by plane off the coast of Italy. The plane was blown off course and crash landed in Nazi-occupied Albania. With the help of Albanian partisans and Allied operatives, the Americans evaded capture and were rescued. The official government files remained classified until the 1990s. Tales regarding this tumultuous 63-day ordeal are only recently coming out.

Told through the eyes of three amazingly well-developed characters - American nurses Evelyn, Dot & Vita - young women from totally different backgrounds, they each had a desire to make a difference during the war.

Author Soraya Lane weaves a remarkable tale of resilience and courage, bravery and survival. These women become best friends and truly inspire all with their tenacity and strength. Highly recommended.

Amazing fact: Albania, the only European country with a Muslim majority, committed itself to saving all of its Jewish inhabitants. Almost all Jews living within Albanian borders during the German occupation, those of Albanian origin and refugees alike, were saved.

I was gifted this advance copy by NetGalley and was under no obligation to provide a review.

Was this review helpful?

This was really good from start to finish and is one of my new favourites for this author.

It felt so different to her others and also to other books in the genre. The setting in Albania really helped with this and I love the way she handled the retelling of this true story.

The 3 main characters were all so distinctive and I warmed instantly to them. I felt like I was there with them on the journey.

I was gripped to this one and thought it was really authentic. Highly recommend.

Was this review helpful?

Under a Sky of Memories is a beautifully written book by Soraya Lane. A group of nurses and medics are sent on a special mission during WWII when the worst happens - their plane crashes. At first they don't even know where they are but it turns out they are in occupied Albania The story centers around three American nurses - Vita, Dot and Evelyn. The three women are very different but become like sisters during their traumatic experience of hope and survival. Soraya Lane's description of people and places are just incredible! Highly recommend this amazing book that is based on a true story!

Was this review helpful?

Two parts of the life - before the crash and after it.

Three girls, each of whom had the goal of changing their lives and being useful for their country, saving as many lives as possible... Nothing could stop them, nothing and no one!

Each of us has such a friend as Vita, the soul of the company, able to cheer up and support even in the most difficult moments. She is a girl full of life, beautiful and strong-willed. Despite her stubbornness, she is tender and fragile, in need of a strong male shoulder, who would be able to do everything for her.

Evelyn is so good girl, kind, smart, caring, with a strong sense of maternal responsibility. Having such a friend, everyone can be calm and confident that nothing bad would happen, she would look after and take care of everyone who needs her.

Dot is like a tender bird that has fallen out of someone's else nest, not her own. She's a shy girl, who's dreaming of love, family, home. She almost lost faith in a happy future, understanding that no one is waiting for her.

Bobby is a hero! He's reliable as a fortress! He's my favourite character! Oh, how I wish to meet him in a real life!

They all are so different, having different backgrounds. They are united by the crash, Albania and the wish to survive. The most amazing thing in the book was watching the heroes, how they find solutions in the most difficult moments, how they strive to help each other, not allowing them to give up.

The book is a brilliant! I couldn't put it down! Loved it so much! The characters are amazing! The plot has many unexpected twists. The events are so realistic! I just love everything in this book!

I will definitely highly recommend this wonderful book to everyone who loves historical fiction, who interested in the History of World War II and who prefer reading well-written 5-stars books.

Thanks to Soraya M.Lane, Amazon Publishing UK and NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review this book!

Was this review helpful?


Author Soraya M. Lane is a fantastic historical fiction author and her latest release, Under A Sky of Memories, is superlative! Lane has set her story in 1943, Sicily. Her plot involves three main characters, all American women and all nurses in the Medical Air Evacuation Transport Squadron. These nurses have very different strengths and personalities which allows them to become a strong team and close friends. Lane has written an intriguing plot for these three nurses. She writes stories that draw you in and make you feel as though you are a participant instead of an observer. Lane tells Evelyn, Vita and Dot’s story of being on a mission that crashes behind enemy lines in Albania. What all will they face as they attempt to survive the treacherous journey across enemy territory and make their way home. It is a story of challenges, sacrifice, bravery and heroism.

I was provided a complimentary copy of this book by Lake Union Publishing. The opinions expressed here are completely my own and without influence.

Was this review helpful?

Soraya Lane has become one of the best writers of strong women in WWII. She always does considerable research and bases her story on real people in real situations. Her new book is based on a group of 26 Air Force nurses and medics who crashed in Albania in 1943 and had to avoid the Germans who controlled the country. They survived for 63 days before they were rescued and three of the nurses who were separated from the group were there for 135 days before rescue.

The Medical Air Evacuation Transport Squadron was set up to help remove wounded from field hospitals to better equipped hospitals for treatment. Vita, Dot and Evelyn were all from different areas and life styles but became great friends when they were doing their training in the US. Normally the pilot, one medic and one nurse flew to get the wounded. But the upper brass felt like this was too slow so they sent 26 nurses and medics. Due to a storm, the plane got lost and ended up crashing in Albania. It was amazing that everyone survived the crash but what followed was even worse. They were lost and hungry and tired but had to be vigilant so they wouldn't be captured. This follows the three nurses and each chapter is alternately told by each one of them.

This was an engrossing story based on the three nurses. They were all stronger and more resilient than they knew and no matter what was going on, their friendship stayed strong and helped them survive both physically and mentally.

I enjoy reading historical fiction when I also learn about a real event that I knew nothing about. I love books with brave and resilient women who did their part to help their country. Once again, Soraya Lane has given me all that and more -- a story that I won't soon forget.

Was this review helpful?

Another beautifully written WWII historical fiction novel by Soraya M Lane! Evelyn, Vita, and Dot are three strong women who joined the war efforts as nurses to help transport American soldiers to nearby hospitals to increase their odds of survival. They may come from very different lives, each with their own reasons for wanting to join the efforts; but they quickly bond as they embark on this dangerous mission together. During a flight to save soldiers, their plane is shot down and they are stranded with a group of nurses, medics, and pilots. They find themselves in enemy territory with no means of communication, but they will do whatever it takes to find their way back home to safety.

True to her theme, Soraya lane creates beautiful relationships between the friends and the romantic interests they find along the way. Her style of writing always makes you feel as if you’re right there with them!

Thanks to #NetGalley, Soraya M Lane, and Amazon Publishing UK for the e-ARC of #UnderaSkyofMemories in exchange for an honest review.

Was this review helpful?

Good, quick read. This books follows suit with other Soraya Lane books. Three ladies and their love lives during World War II. The book had a strong ending. I really enjoy reading Soraya Lane’s book. I would recommend this book to other readers of this genre.

Was this review helpful?

Based on the true story of a group of American Army Air Force Flight Nurses whose plane crashed behind enemy lines, this is the fictional story of three of the nurses. I enjoyed the story, especially after they crashed as the plot picked up momentum. Well written and edited, it is well-paced. A good historical fiction read. Although the nurses were in the army, there is a decided lack of military culture in the book. The focus is on the lives of the nurses, both before and during the action and of course, lots of romance. Recommend for lovers of Historical Romance in a World War II setting.

Was this review helpful?

A fantastic read, facts and fiction perfectly combined, brilliant characters, I devoured this book and will be recommending this to everyone. Looking forward to more books by this author

Was this review helpful?

At times during the book I couldn't help feel the story was far fetched so was gobsmacked at the end to read it was based on truth! Sorry for doubting you!

The three main female characters were all very likeable and easy to relate to. Equally so the main male characters were the same especially Eddie who I imagined to be good looking and with a heart of gold!

The book was well written and descriptive as Soraya's always are. I knew a little about Albania during the war having read another novel about the country helping the Jewish. It seems that much of the nation had a heart of gold helping and sharing what they had.

Highly recommended to others - my only niggle was not knowing whether Vita's family accepted her back and how Evelyn's family had faired.

Was this review helpful?

Thank you to NetGalley for the ARC in return for my review.
Under a Sky of Memories was a engrossing read that I did not want to put down. Before reading this book I had never heard of the Medical Air Evacuation Transport Squadron so I found this book to be very interesting. This is the second book of Soraya M Lane's that I have read and I adore how she is able to take real events from history and retell them masterfully through the eyes of strong fictional heroines. In Under a Sky of Memories, nurturing Evelyn, shy Dot, and life of the party Vita are flight nurses who find themselves thrust into a harrowing fight for survival after a military aircraft crash puts them into enemy territory during the height of WWII. This was a story of survival, hope, faith and love that left me on the edge of my seat and one I truly enjoyed reading.

Was this review helpful?

Soraya has done it again. I shouldn't even be surprised at the intricacies she weaves into her historical fiction that depict the reality that women faced during World War II.

This is an incredible story of 3 Medivac nurses that helped airlift hundreds of men to safety that otherwise would have perished due to their injuries from being on the front lines. After their plane goes down behind enemy lines in Albania, they are forced to trust local Albanians in a small village near the crash. They are almost immediately forced to move to escape The beautiful, intimate details of their strive to survive, relationships built and torn apart and the amazing lives of those that risked everything to help them escape amongst Nazi-occupied land.

As usual, I'm in a post-book recovery mode and eagerly anticipating the next.

Was this review helpful?

I’ve read many of Soraya Lane’s books and really liked most. This one, however, does not rank among my favorites. It’s good, but not great.

I was intrigued by the premise which was based on a real event. I love WWII historical fiction, but this was the first I’d read of the MAETS and Albania, and I was fascinated by both. I felt like this one had a slow start, but it got much better after the plane crash. Furthermore, I always enjoy alternating POVs which I think provide a lot of interest to a story and allow the reader to really get to know those characters better. And most of the characters were interesting with complex back stories and emotions.

On the flip side, I really did not find Vita to be a likable character; she seemed rather shallow, whiny, and flat to me. Additionally, it seemed like some of the scenarios were rather unlikely (e.g., the pilots taking 2 female nurses on the recon missions instead of 2 men) which I found to be a was a detriment. Furthermore, part of the ending was disappointing ; I truly wished one of the couples had a happier ending sooner.

All in all a good read, but not the best of Soraya Lane.

Thank you to NetGalley, the publisher, and the author for a copy of this book.

Was this review helpful?

Love this author. Such a good story with very likeable characters. Nurses, Vita, Evelyn and Dot join a Medical Air Evac. Transport Squadron (MAETS) in Italy during WWII. Following the characters experiences and feelings during this time is so interesting. I think the author has really done her research.

Was this review helpful?

Soraya M Lane is fast becoming one of my must read authors. Her books are always emotional and powerful and this book, Under a Sky of Memories is no different.
Brilliant style and author voice. Touching moments and strong characters fill this story.
Very enjoyable!

Was this review helpful?

"Sicily, 1943. Three American women, all nurses in the Medical Air Evacuation Transport Squadron, are determined to do all they can for their country. Vita is fun-loving, Dot shy and sweet-natured, and Evelyn practical and determined, but for all their differences, a life of military service pulls the three together as firm friends"
Soraya Lane always writes compelling stories of strong women, that gives us insight to a time and location we might not be familiar with.
Strong character development with image quality that made it hard to put down. Recommend for any fan of historical friction.

Was this review helpful?

If you enjoy a story set in World War 2 that shows the strength and courage of woman and men who do what they can to save other people, then this is a book that you must pick up, another beautifully written heart-felt story from Soraya Lane as she digs deep into the emotions and characters of three woman. nurses Vita, Evelyn and Dot come along and get to know them and what they went through.

It is 1943 and three nurses, Vita who knows how to have fun, Dot who is quiet and shy and Evelyn the practical and determined one all are planning on saving as many as they can, they have trained hard to become part of the Medical Evacuation Transport Squadron and are based in Sicily they have been running successful missions and saving many wounded soldiers lives when weather stops their missions, the army plans a different mission where a bigger group of nurses and medics fly in a sky trooper to collect the injured, but this mission goes wrong and they are shot down and crash land behind enemy lines in Albania.

With no communication a few go out on a search and they are found and given given help from local partisans but can they trust them to keep them safe from the Germans, they are constantly on the move with no food and very little water moving from one safe village to another, they are all struggling mentally and with their physical health but Vita, Dot and Evelyn continue to be strong and push everyone on when they finally find some help from a British SOE soldier and maybe this just might be the answer to their prayers to get home.

This story if filled with emotion, I felt their pain and fear as they marched through the forest in the bitter cold, Evelyn working hard with the British officer James to keep everyone walking and being as positive as they needed to be and Vita and the pilot of the plane Bobby where there to support as well. There is danger at every turn and still these woman show courage and strength to get where they needed to go through heart break and sorrow.

This really is an awesome story one that I loved so much there are some beautiful romances along the way in such tough times but sheer determination and hope get them through in a beautiful story, one that I would highly recommend.

My thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for my copy to read and review.

Was this review helpful?

This book tells the true story of a plane full of medics and nurses that crashed in Albania during WWII, and their fate during the more than two months that they were missing in that country. Even though is a fiction book it follows accurately the story and this makes it an excellent historical fiction book.

As with all of the other books by Soraya M. Lane once you start reading it you cannot put it down until you reach the end, and very important, don't miss reading the author's notes, they are as good as the book.

It is important to write, read and learn about the women contribution to the war efforts, and not just the actions by the women that stepped up in the country, but the courageous ones that were in the frontlines of the war in Europe, in this case the Medical Air Evacuation Squadron, without them thousands of soldiers would have die of their wounds. Their story, at least for me, is an unknown one but not for that a less heroic one. It's about time to give them the recognition that they deserve.

Was this review helpful?

Thank you to all concerned for my chance to read this ARC

I enjoy Soraya Lanes books for their historical detail even though she admits that they are often works of 'faction' based on real events rather than accurate depictions.

I really liked this book and couldn't wait to find out what happened to the 3 main characters - however I found the way the chapters jumped between characters altered the flow of the story and made it very difficult to follow somehow.

I was interested in the real events that the book was based on and will take the author's advice to investigate further.
It was a harrowing, though ultimately a story of the strength of the human spirit to overcome adversity, with a bit of old-fashioned romance thrown in.

Was this review helpful?

“We’re all the same at the end of the day; we all do our best for the soldiers in our care. That's the thing when you’re serving your country: we’re all on equal footing.”

I’ve read so many WW2 historical fiction novels, but never one that takes place in Albania before. Under a Sky of Memories is inspired by the true story of a downed flight that held American medics and nurses. They were trapped behind enemy lines in Albania with no connection to their base.

I can’t imagine the amount of terror that they must have felt knowing they had no direct access to any help. The story focuses on three extraordinary nurses who show strength and bravery in the face of terror.

One of my favorite parts of reading this novel was learning about Albanian culture. Hospitality is one of their core values and many of the people risked their lives to help the Americans. It’s truly amazing that it’s all based on actual events.

*I received a complimentary ARC of this novel by NetGalley; all opinions expressed are my own.

Was this review helpful?

This was the first book by Soraya M. Lane that I have read and it was so good and engrossing that I read it all in one day. This was the second book that I recently read that involved the women of the Medical Air Evacuation Transport Squadron. I thought that this book was by far superior to the other book I read. Lane masterfully brought the women lives to life and artfully told their story.

Thank you Netgalley and Amazon Publishing UK for an advanced reader copy of this book.

Was this review helpful?

Meet the brave men and women of the 807th Medical Air Evacuation Transport Squadron during WWII. They were chosen by the army to ferry injured soldiers from the front lines to hospitals for further and often life saving treatment for their war wounds. A small group of around 30 medics and nurses are chosen for a special mission but soon after takeoff…disaster strikes. They run into inclement weather and just as they are navigating their way through, get shot down by the Germans. They lose all of their orientation so when the plane crashes…miraculously with only minor injuries…they have no idea where they are. They soon learn they are in German occupied Albania where not only the Nazis reign but the Albanians are also at war with each other. Braving the unknown, these courageous people along with the help of a British SOE…are determined to find their way home.

While the characters in this story are fictional, the 807th was very real and their story is one that needs to be heard. I highly encourage you to read the authors notes before closing the back cover. I loved this book. It’s full of grit, raw emotion, strength, determination, fear and courage!

Thank you to NetGalley, Amazon Publishing UK, Lake Union Publishing and Soraya M Lane for granting me access to this story! These are the ones that need to be told

Was this review helpful?

I received an eARC of this book from Netgalley for a review.

This was a good book. An interesting story of nurses trained to work on planes to fly injured soldiers out of war zones. This is based on a true story, which makes it even more interesting. A plane of nurses and soldiers, on the way for a large evacuation, crash lands in Albania behind enemy lines.

This is the fictionalized story of three of those nurses. It's a bit lighter than your normal WWII historical fiction with a bit of romance thrown in. Characters were not as deep as my favourite such books. But overall, I found it a good story and a part of WWII history I wasn't aware of.

Was this review helpful?

This book was nothing like I imagined it would be - well, it was, until the pivotal moment when everything changed. Instead, I was thrown into pages of danger, love, endurance, and resilience...I couldn't put it down. What I thought was going to be a story about the MAETS and their trials and tribulations became so much more.

I nearly gave this one five stars, except I was left with some lingering questions at the end, some things I wanted tied up, particularly in Vita's storyline. But that aside, this was a terrific novel, set during my favorite era, in a unique setting which I loved.

Was this review helpful?

I received a copy of this e-book in exchange for an honest review
This was exactly what I would have expected from a Soraya Lane novel! It was so spectacular!

Was this review helpful?

Filled with wonderful friendships and a little romance, this book treats us to the tale of 3 friends who are nurses in a new type of unit. These women are part of a unique unit that flies in to field hospitals and transports by air the wounded to a more permanent hospital that can more successfully treat their wounds. A remarkable story.

Was this review helpful?

I keep seeing comments about "why are there so many WWII books?" This book is a great example of why, there are endless stories to learn. This is a great look at the nurses, medics, and flight crew who survived a plane crash during the war. Their story was hidden and classified for years. Here they all come to life through this historic fiction novel. I thought the characterization of the three main nurses was all excellent. I could feel sympathy and empathy for each one, from their reasons for leaving their families to become nurses to the difficult situation they survived during the war to their recovery and lives afterward. Similarly primary side characters are well drawn. They add to the main narrative and to the lives of the three main characters, without becoming distractions. The third person narrative switches between the three nurses, very effectively and efficiently. When we need more from another character, the POV switches. We are able to experience the events from all three and not get locked in a distant, sky-high view from above. I appreciated that this was a linear story, too, and not a dual time frame with everything as a memory. That said, there are flashbacks that help inform the reader of something relevent for each nurse. I think that was a good choice. The flashbacks are not full story arcs, like in a dual time frame. Instead, they are the snap shots of time that we need, in order to understand our main characters. I think they are used just enough, and are just the right length individually, too. Pacing is excellent and I could not put this down. I always wanted to know what was going to happen next. Highly recommend this to historical fiction fans and WWII historical fiction fans.

Was this review helpful?

Under a Sky of Memories is the story of Vita, Dot, and Evelyn, three American nurses who sign up to serve in World War II. As members of the Medical Air Evacuation Transport Squadron, they will be the nurses on board air ambulances, transporting injured soldiers away from the front lines so they can recover in proper hospitals.

They are posted to Catania in Sicily, where they find the work difficult but satisfying. Soon, they are all assigned to the same mission, a super flight with multiple doctors and nurses on board. A series of mishaps leads them to crash-land in Armenia … enemy territory.

The story then becomes a tale of survival: will the pilots, nurses, and medics survive?
Under a Sky of Memories is a gripping story with excellent characters. The writing is excellent, with plenty of suspense, made all the more engaging once I realised this was based on a true story. That’s actually an important fact, because otherwise it would be easy to complain the mistakes leading to the crash weren’t realistic!

The author has obviously done a heap of research, which is great, but it never overwhelms the story. Instead, the story very much focuses on the three nurses.

Recommended for historical fiction fans, especially those who enjoy World War II fiction.

Thanks to Lake Union Publishing and NetGalley for providing a free ebook for review.

Was this review helpful?

A great fictional story based on true facts of American medics, whose plane crashed in wartorn Albania.
The book depicts the dedication of the secret agents and the partisans who tried to rescue different people.
Great characters which enabled the story to flow well.

Was this review helpful?

I wanted to fact-check every word of this book because it was all so unbelievable.
But I think that doing that while or before you read it would change the impact that it has on the reader.
I am an avid reader of historical fiction, and I will be recommending this to EVERY single person I know that is a fan of this genre. This was one of the best books I have ever read. Right up there with how I feel about The Nightingale and The Rose Code.

Kudos to the author for a well-written, unforgettable, and dynamic book. I am looking forward to reading more.

Was this review helpful?

This book I loved! It is set in the tear 1943 f you enjoy a story set in World War 2 that shows the strength and courage of woman and men who do what they can to save other people, then this is a book that you must pick up, another beautifully written heart-felt story from Soraya Lane as she digs deep into the emotions and characters of three woman. This story if filled with emotion, beautiful romances along the way yet in such tough times I felt their pain, the love and the fear!
I highly recommend this book!
Thank YOU NetGalley!
I rated this 4 1/2 stars!

Was this review helpful?

Thank you to NetGalley, Lake Union Publishing, & Amazon Publishing for the opportunity to read and review this book before it's publication date! This in no way affected my review, opinions are my own.

Enjoyable enough, but unfortunately nothing really stuck out for me.

Was this review helpful?

Readers who liked this book also liked: