Boarding Pass (Paperback)

By Paul J. Cumbo

One Lane Bridge, 9780988208605, 344pp.

Publication Date: December 7, 2012

List Price: 14.99*
* Individual store prices may vary.


"An intelligent novel with an important message for teens and adults..." - ForeWord Clarion5-Star Review

..".reminiscent of Dead Poets Society...recreates the intricate, intense boyhood bonds..." - Kirkus Reviews

"Cumbo writes a tender coming-of-age novel...evocative of A Separate Peace." - Publisher's Weekly

Twenty-one-year-old Matt Derby is a typical college senior: bright, open-minded, and full of potential. But he's also stuck in neutral, struggling with girl problems, a lack of direction, and decisions made difficult by too many choices.

When a television news report tells the story of a heroic firefighter in a small Wyoming town, Matt recognizes someone he hasn't seen in nearly six years: his boarding school roommate, Trey Daniels, who disappeared after being expelled in tenth grade.

Matt boards a flight headed west, aiming not only to visit his injured friend, but also to put off his own return to school and the big decisions that await him there. Once at cruising altitude, his flashbacks recall the formative days at the Ashford River School, and the memorable events that cemented their boyhood friendship before Trey's departure.

Upon landing, Matt soon discovers the seemingly impulsive journey is nothing less than a pilgrimage that revisits his past, illuminates the present, and defines his future.

The debut novel by Paul Cumbo chronicles the rugged path from adolescence to adulthood, the challenging decisions that determine our futures, and the powerful bonds of friendship and family that shape our lives along the way.

A sympathetic but honest look at "Generation Y," Boarding Pass captures the simultaneous idealism, confusion, innocence, and potential of two American millennials at a defining moment of self-discovery. The novel is as much a coming-of-age tale as an introspective, critical look at the Baby-Boom version of the American Dream.

About the Author

Paul Cumbo is an English teacher, rowing coach, and director of domestic and international service programs at Canisius, a Jesuit high school for boys in Buffalo, New York. He began his educational career in 2001 at Georgetown Prep, a Jesuit boarding school in Bethesda, Maryland, where he served on the residential faculty and taught English for three years. He lived in Scotland while earning a postgraduate degree in creative writing and fiction at the University of St. Andrews before returning to Buffalo in 2005, where he lives with his wife and two children.