Simon & Schuster, 9781451643398, 320pp.
Publication Date: April 9, 2011
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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.