Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Flying at Night ~ Rebecca L. Brown (Published April 10, 2018)

Flying at Night by [Brown, Rebecca L.]
Brown, Rebecca L. 2018. Flying at Night. New York, NY: Berkley Publishing Group.
ISBN: 978-0399585999. $26.00 USD.

Rebecca L Brown's debut, Flying at Night, is one of my favorite books so far this year.  It took me a bit to get through it because I had to stop and ponder some things while reading.  The author has given amazing voices to the three main characters: Piper, her autistic son, Fred, and her father, Lance.  I felt like I knew each of these characters intimately by the time I was finished, and was fully invested in their lives and the outcomes of their situations.

Piper is an artist who has chosen to stay home with her son, Fred, who is showing signs of being on the autism scale.  She is very much in denial about it.  Fred's voice in his entries in the book are written in such a way that the reader knows he has some kind of disorder, but they are so funny and wise and filled with his personality that one cannot help but love this character and hope for the best for him.  Piper's husband, Isaac, is a lawyer for The Innocence Project and is away from home a lot working, so Piper feels like she is handling Fred's challenges as if she were a single parent.

In the midst of her issues with Fred, Piper's father suffers a heart attack while playing squash, and is without oxygen for so long that no one thinks he will recover.  Lance was a pilot nick-named "The Silver Eagle," and though charming, he had a huge ego. We come to understand through his voice and Piper's descriptions, however, that Lance was a terrible father and husband, emotionally and verbally abusive.  No one is really all that interested in him surviving; but miraculously he does, and this has far reaching consequences for all of the family: for "The Silver Eagle" is a completely different man than he was before.

The beauty of this book is seeing how all of the characters handle the challenges that come their way, and getting into their hearts and minds in the chapters written from their points of view. All the characters in the book have opportunities for redemption in some way or another, and upon turning the last page, I just signed with pleasure. My heart was aching, but my soul was at peace.

This is a wonderful debut, and I highly recommend it. 5 stars!

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