Synopses & Reviews
In her haunting debut novel, Flight, Ginger Strand creates an unforgettable portrait of a midwestern family navigating an indelibly changed world. Will Gruen loves to fly. As a Michigan farm boy, he longed to clear a furrow through sky, not land. Since then, he has pursued speed and forward motion, from his Air Force service in Vietnam to his thirty years as a commercial pilot for TWA. His passion for flight is matched only by his love for the family farm he considers his personal refuge. But in the aftermath of September 11, Will's world implodes. As he nears mandatory retirement, his beloved airline has collapsed. His wife is turning his farm into a bed-and-breakfast. His older daughter has chosen an open marriage, and her sister has fled seven hundred miles away to New York. Now, with the wedding of their younger daughter approaching, the Gruen family is coming home. Over three emotional days, the past collides with the present, secrets are revealed, new ties are made and old ones broken as each of the Gruens stands at the brink of taking a step that could not only change the path of one life but could alter the family's course. Deftly entwining the voices of Will and his colorful family, Strand creates a dazzling, multilayered chronicle of ordinary Americans in an era of sweeping hange -- and of people with only love to keep them aloft in an uncertain world.
"Strand's impressive first novel explores the tangled complexities of modern
American family life, unflinchingly portraying the longstanding jealousies,
grudges, misunderstandings, and love that shape family dynamics." Library Journal
"A finely wrought novel about the back-and-forthness of life, Strand's debut, set against a post-9/11, flag-bedecked America, perfectly captures the wearying effects of that motion." Annie Tully, Booklist
"Strand's debut is an absolute knockout of a novel, a multilayered story of a midwestern family flying in directions no one least of all any of them could have imagined. Stunning, surprising, and at times as thrilling as a first biplane ride, Flight is rich with the intimate knowledge of how families struggle to work out their lives. Dazzlingly written and aloft with humor, Flight truly soars." Caroline Leavitt, author of Girls in Trouble
"This is a deeply satisfying book, written with sympathy, perception and artistry. The Flight of the title is more than Will's passion for aviation. It's Leanne's secret longing for escape, it's baby birds leaving the nest, and it is imagery so perfectly expressive it is archetypal." Stephanie Deutsch, The Washington Times
About the Author
Ginger Strand was raised in Texas, Missouri, Illinois, Wisconsin, and Michigan. Her fiction and essays have appeared in many places, including The Believer, The Iowa Review, The Gettysburg Review, and The Carolina Quarterly. She has been awarded fiction residencies by Yaddo, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and the Sewanee Writers' Conference. She lives in New York City.