In 1964, at age 27, Joan Merriam Smith made history when she became the first person to complete a solo flight around the equator and the youngest woman to fly around the world. In pursuit of a lifelong dream to complete Amelia Earhart’s route, Joan overcame tremendous odds to complete her flight, from numerous mechanical troubles to persistent bad weather and unexplained resistance from officials at every turn. Yet her heroic story has gone mostly untold in the annals of aviation … until now.

More than 50 years later, Tiffany Brown discovered a box belonging to her grandmother, Trixie Schubert, the foreign news correspondent who had died years earlier. Inside the box, Brown found a manuscript, written by Trixie, revealing the details of Joan’s world flight, but also raising questions about the mysterious plane crash that resulted in both women’s deaths.

In Fate on a Folded Wing, Brown brings Joan’s high-flying journey to life. Aided by historical records, letters, personal accounts of the two women and their families and friends, and her own grandmother’s long-forgotten manuscript, Brown shares this epic tale about a once-in-a-lifetime adventure and the unsung, heroic women determined to overcome the odds to fulfill their dreams.

“But the one long desire never left me: the urge to fly around the world at the equator, and follow the Amelia Earhart route. I had admired her courage and determination since I read her book, Last Flight at age 15. Silently, the thought of some day making that same trip came into mind, and into reality in 1964 after 11 long years of wishing and trying.”

Joan Merriam Smith