The Fallen Woman and the Fallen Hero

Wings of Grace, Book 3 of THE GRACE SEXTET, concludes with–now, you surely don’t think I’m going to give away the ending? But you know from reading Tides of Grace, the first book in the Grace Series, that if Grace hasn’t fallen she has surely stumbled before righting herself, so she’s my “fallen woman.” The “Fallen Hero” is none other that Charles Lindbergh. “Slim,” as he’s known to his friends, and Grace cross paths in Wings of Grace and they become friends. When they meet, in the mid-1920s, Lindbergh is not yet the “Lone Eagle” of legend; he’s a stunt pilot and a wing walker in air shows presented at fairs and exhibitions in the Midwest and in the Northeastern U. S. So is Grace’s friend (and her brother Damien’s girlfriend), Julie Thompson. Grace enjoys accompanying Julie on her weekend stunt flying expeditions, so she often sees Lindbergh.

Lindbergh speaking to the America First Committee, an isolationist lobby.

Lindbergh speaking to the America First Committee, an isolationist lobby.

Fast forward to 1936: Grace is living in France (one could say she’ ‘hiding’ in France) and again she finds herself in Lindbergh’s company, first in Paris, later in Berlin. By 1936 he is lionized wherever he goes. He’s a renowned aeronautical engineer, and in this capacity the American military attaché in Berlin invites him to the German capital to assess the strength of Germany’s new air force. He is also a renowned isolationist, a political position that endears him to Adolph Hitler and Hermann Goering. To Grace, Lindbergh is still just “Slim,” but to many in Europe and in the United States he is an apologist for the Nazi regime. As the years pass and another European war becomes inevitable, Lindbergh’s public speeches and private associations reveal him as ever more closely aligned with the motives and the means of Nazism. Grace continues to see him as the fearless, indomitable flyer she has known for years, a naive view that makes her a target for enlistment in Lindbergh’s cause of urging France and England to avoid war by capitulating to German political demands. In The Land of Grace, the fourth installment in my roman fleuve, Grace leaves her tiny farm in the South of France to become a spy for the American military attaché in Vichy, France, the capital for the French State that emerges after German overruns France in 1940. By this time, her friend’s reputation is tarnished beyond any redemption while she is becoming the vamp of Vichy in her pursuit of useful intelligence to pass along to her contacts.

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