Happy Monday bookworms!
I’ve got a quick little review today for a quick little book. Thank you to Penguin Random House Canada for sending me this one. It comes out tomorrow July 16th.
Author: David Szalay
Genre: Literary Fiction
Who should read this book: I think anyone would enjoy it, especially if you like stories about how we are all connected.
The name of the book suggests there will be planes involved and it’s true but it’s not the focus. Also if airplane turbulence freaks you out, it’s only in the first chapter so don’t worry. The title is more of a metaphor for life in my opinion. (Here comes philosophical Angie) I think the author is telling us that life is like riding an airplane, it’s mostly smooth sailing but once in a while you wobble a little and then get back on track.
Each chapter is about a different person that is somehow connected to the person from the previous chapter. And each person in every chapter is going through a problem in their life. This novella is a discussion on the struggles of daily life, and how we are all connected. And how you have no idea what’s really going on in most people’s lives. We all have a little turbulence.
Writing 4/4: I imagine it would be very difficult to write a novella where every chapter has a different set of characters, and they are all going through some kind of trauma and you the reader need to care about that. I think Szalay did an excellent job of accomplishing this. At the end of each chapter I wanted more about these people and instead I was taken somewhere else. But where I was taken was also just as interesting. In 135 pages, Szalay told the story of 12 different people. He told their stories in a way that made me care. And he seamlessly connected all those people together. The last chapter even connects around back to the first, so it comes full circle.
Plot 3/3: We are taken on a journey literally around the world. Each chapter starts with the character flying somewhere else. The chapter titles are the airlines codes from their flights as well, so if you know those codes you get a little hint of where the chapter will be. Szalay starts us in London, England where we see a woman taking care of her sick son, then she gets on a plane to return to Spain. The man she sits beside on the plane is who we follow in the next chapter. And it continues on. It was a really interesting plot for me, weaving all these characters together and telling their individual struggles so quickly. And all the problems of life are represented, money issues, infidelity, pregnancy problems, death, physical abuse, and more.
Feel 3/3: I read this book in about 2 hours. I flew through it because each chapter was a new story and you are thrown right into drama and problems. Every problem is different and sad. I felt for every character. It was an emotional roller coaster and when I finished I just thought wow. It made my problems in life seem ridiculous. In 135 pages Szalay reminds us that that we are one, and we all struggle, but we can also support each other. It was a beautiful little book.