Nerves of Steel: How I Followed My Dreams, Earned My Wings and Faced My Greatest Challenge
By Captain Tammie Jo Shults
I must have found this book on sale for the Kindle in December and I just got around to reading it this month. Over the past couple years I really been drawn to memoirs/autobiographies, and I found this one very rewarding.
The book started out with Captain Shults piloting an airliner in MAJOR distress, but very little detail was given. Then the story went back to when Tammie Jo Shults was a little girl and first thought she wanted to be a pilot. I am not sure what caught my attention about this book or what I expected from the story, but I was not prepared for all of the back story of Tammie Jo growing up being told girls could not be pilots, her battles to get into flight school with the military, her struggles with chauvinism (actually, just plain hatred) and then FINALLY back to the emergency on the plane. It was not until the last 15-20% of the book that I realized I had read the headlines about this flight on April 17, 2018 (fair warning: this link will tell you about the incident but will also be a bit of a spoiler if you want to read the book). Looking at the cover, it makes sense that the book would be about her life and not just the incident, and in the end, I was drawn in by the story of her life, her struggles (with bullies and chauvinism), how her Christian faith helped her make it through without giving up and the incredible value of a good marriage.
I have mentioned chauvinism twice (three times, now!) because it was a recurring battle for her not only in the military (being one of the early female military aviators) but also when she took a job with Southwest Airlines. She shared about the depression she went through with the false accusations leveled against her on the job (that could have ended her career), but her faith and positive attitude (she went on the assumption that her problems were due to a few "bad apples" and not company policy) brought her through. What a fascinating and ENCOURAGING life story.
If you are into flying, there are plenty of stories you will enjoy. I would think it would be encouraging to women who have experienced bullies and discrimination as well a reminder to Christians that who we are is who God says we are, not who people say we are and we are not just the job we work. I gave the book 5 stars and recommend it as a good read!