I just finished Jane Mendelsohn’s I was Amelia Earhart. I read it, in one one sitting, and basically gulped it down. It’s lyrical, not in the sense that nothing happens, but in the sense that you care more about the people who facilitate and respond to the happenings. Plus it’s about Amelia Earhart, so everything that happens is epic. It’s also hard to describe concretely without giving either everything away or sounding 100% vague. Anyway, I’m going to do the latter, because you should read it yourself: in the style of Joyce Carol Oates’ Blonde, I Was Amelia Earhart imagines the life of Amelia Earhart up to and following her disappearance. Except way.more.epic. than that sounds.
Don’t be fooled by this book’s goodreads rating (which is 3.4/5, not bad); a quick skim through 1-star reviews reveals that they come mostly from readers who are unimpressed because the plot is improbable, or who are disappointed because they wanted to learn more about Amelia Earhart. The experience of reading is something like reading Wide Sargasso Sea, though the project of I Was Amelia Earhart is less political, and less a conversation with the dominant literary canon than a conversation with a legend.