By Kate Pullinger
(Touchstone Books, Hardcover, 9781476751375, 286pp.)
Publication Date: May 2014
Other Editions of This Title: Paperback
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Spring 2010. A volcano unexpectedly erupts in Iceland and airspace is shut down over Europe. Harriet works in local radio in London, and with most of her colleagues abroad, she seizes a unique career opportunity. Her husband, Michael, stuck in New York on business, travels to visit an old flame, and their teenage son, Jack, feeling liberated from normal life, takes an unexpected risk only to find himself in trouble. Meanwhile Emily, a young TV researcher, loses her adoptive father to a heart attack, and half a world away, a Pakistani migrant worker named Yacub is stranded in a Dubai labor camp.
Two years later, Yacub, attempting to stow away, falls out of the landing gear of an airplane onto Harriet's car in a London supermarket parking lot--and survives--while Emily accidentally captures it all on film. Yacub's sudden arrival in the lives of Harriet, Jack, Michael, and Emily catapults these characters into a series of life-changing events, ultimately revealing the tenuous, often unexpected ties that bind us together.
Inspired by real-life accounts of airplane stowaways, "Landing Gear" is about the complex texture of modern life, and how we fight the loneliness of the nuclear family to hold on to one another.