During the air war over Germany, the crew of a B-17 Flying Fortress tries to achieve some competence as a unit before their most catastrophic mission yet
They call their plane “Paper Doll,” the joke being its suggestion of flimsiness, inconsequence, and perishability, and none of them, from the veterans to the newcomers, feel the bravery they’d like to project. But now, despite their myriad limitations, they’ve been tasked with living through the tension and boredom of base life, saving one another’s lives, and rejoicing at those missions they’ve survived—until they’re confronted by the shock of a mission directed against the ball-bearing factories in Schweinfurt, a mission that will outfly the capacities of their fighter escorts and take them hundreds of miles through the most heavily defended sectors of the German Air Defense.
National Book Award finalist and author of The Book of Aron Jim Shepard brilliantly illustrates both the lunacy and intimacy of these young men’s lives on the ground as well as their growing disillusionment and terror at what lies ahead. Unsentimental and unsparing in its honesty, Paper Doll portrays with stirring clarity the realities of war and the bonds forged in the face of death.