The rise and fall of the ‘Garbo of the skies’, as told by one of New Zealand’s finest novelists.
Jean Batten became an international icon in 1930s. A brave, beautiful woman, she made a number of heroic solo flights across the world. The newspapers couldn’t get enough of her.
In 1934, she broke Amy Johnson’s flight time between England and Australia by six days. The following year, she was the first woman to make the return flight. In 1936, she made the first ever direct flight between England and New Zealand and then the fastest ever trans-Tasman flight. Jean Batten stood for adventure, daring, exploration and glamour.
The Second World War ended Jean’s flying adventures. She suddenly slipped out of view, disappearing to the Caribbean with her mother and eventually dying in Majorca, buried in a pauper’s grave. Fiona Kidman’s enthralling novel delves into the life of this enigmatic woman. It is a fascinating exploration of early aviation, of fame, and of secrecy.