Book Review by Katie Daniels
You may have heard of American author Ann Hood. But have you met Ann Hood, flight attendant?
Ann’s latest release is a memoir of her time as a flight attendant in the 1970s. She smartly explains the history of the career and the jaw-dropping sexist standards in addition to her personal experiences and the effect it had on her life, growing her into the strong, confident, established woman and writer she is today.
Like Ann, I love the coziness aboard a flight, often finding myself easily falling asleep. I still get giddy when I feel my head thrust back into the seat as the nose of the plane rises into the air. I imagine little angels dancing and playing on the clouds as we soar high above. It really wasn’t a question of when I read the book. I wanted to wait for my next trip – a 5 hour flight from TPA to LAX and back.
As we flew, and as I progressed through the book, I observed each flight attendant. I took note of their well-trained pragmatics, their adherence to the standard set by those before them. I watched as they moved up and down the aisle, through the concourses, and of course, compared the uniforms to Ann’s description of her beloved uniform. I no longer wonder what is packed into their small carry-on bags. The answer is: everything. I have a new-found incredibly high respect for their responsibilities and their training. These men and women are capable of saving our lives, calming us in a moment of panic or sadness, or providing us a pleasant experience no matter how impatient, judgmental, or crass a passenger may be.
Ann takes us through the highs and lows of training. She highlights the impact of the unions and deregulation of airlines. The life lessons learned. The people she met and the world she experienced. I have to admit I would love a bit more expansion on 47F or a few other passenger encounters. I no less found myself enthralled. I teared up as I read of the gentleman with the Christmas presents and the one who lost their family, including Ann. I sat enraged at the disgusting mistreatment of young, professional women in the not-so-distant-past. I also found moments of my husband looking at me questioningly on several occasions as I giggled away.
All in all, I enjoyed every minute of it. It’s a quick, easy read for anyone fascinated with women’s history, travel, air travel, or memoirs.
I also recommend her Treasure Chest series where “History meets Mystery”, but that’s a review for another day.
Katie Daniels is a speech language pathologist in Florida, where she resides with her husband and their pup-child. She has dabbled in professional and personal writing over the years, but only recently began sharing her work with others. She is a proud Florida kid who enjoys meeting new people, seeing new places, and all things related to laughter, travel, faith, Disney, reading, and F.S.U. football. She is easily bribed with donuts or mac ‘n cheese.
She would love to connect on Instagram.