The Closest Thing To Flying by Gill Lewis – reviewed by Eva

I adore children’s books, it makes so happy to be able to share my thoughts with you but sometimes I think it’s good to hear just how wonderful they are straight from the horses mouth so… wonderful Eva is back with another cracking review. This time she’s chatting about The Closet Thing to Flying by Gill Lewis. Over to Eva…


Present day: Semira doesn’t know where to call home. She and her mother came to England when she was four years old, brought across the desert and the sea by a man who has complete control. Always moving on, always afraid of being caught, she longs for freedom.

1891: Hen knows exactly where to call home. Her stifling mother makes sure of that. But her Aunt Kitty is opening her eyes to a whole new world. A world of animal rights, and votes for women, and riding bicycles! Trapped in a life of behaving like a lady, she longs for freedom.

When Semira discovers Hen’s diary, she finds the inspiration to be brave, to fight for her place in the world, and maybe even to uncover the secrets of her own past.
Gill Lewis is the multi-award-winning and best-selling author of novels including Sky Hawk, White Dolphin, and A Story Like the Wind. This is her unforgettable tale of friendship, hope, and finding the courage to fight for what you believe in.

Eva’s thoughts

This review is on a book called The Closest Thing To Flying by Gill Lewis.

Semira has two worlds – her own and Hens. Hen’s world is one hundred years ago when women weren’t allowed to vote, have a job or ride a bike! It was Hen’s aunt who tried to change that and that’s when everything went wrong. Back to Semira’s world where Robel is. Robel is a powerful man who beats her mama and stops her from doing anything she likes. Then one day she met Patrick. Everyone called him a freak, but Semira finds that he went through a similar thing to her. They become friends and that’s when Semira becomes suspicious about her own past and notices her love of cycling.

This book shows how women were treated in the past and today. Women still are being treated terribly but this book has inspired me to write my own stories and hopefully you too.

I loved this book because it shows that you need courage to stick up for yourself, and friends to support and believe you. It is a heartwarming story and it brings a tear to the eye. It’s one of the best books I’ve ever read. I loved how it was a fiction story based on real events. The only bad thing I can say about it was that it ended. I can’t wait to see what the author writes about next.


Thank you so much Eva for your amazing review!

You can find out more about author Gill Lewis by visiting her website here

You can follow Gill Lewis on Twitter at @gill_lewis

The Closest Thing To Flying is published by OUP children’s books and is available from all good book shops.

Thank you so much to the lovely people at OUP for inviting us to review this book. Both Eva and I think it is wonderful.