A review of


by Ginger Strand

Central question: How many Gruens does it take to (almost) ruin a wedding?
Format: 320 pp., hardcover; Size: 9 ½” x 6 ½”; Price: $23.00; Publisher: Simon & Schuster; Editor: Sydny Miner; Selected subject headings: Air pilots, fathers and daughters, weddings; Most unusual word used in novel: hootch; Author’s middle name: Gail; States author grew up in: Texas, Kansas, Illinois, and Wisconsin; Representative passage: “The plane drops what feels like fifty feet. The falling sensation is scary, but there’s a deep throb of pleasure in it, too. Leanne thinks of her father. He fell from the sky once, when his fighter jet was shot down in Vietnam and he parachuted into the ocean. Was there a thrill in the long ride down?”

Ginger Strand describes her first novel, Flight, as “the echoes and overlaps of four voices.” Meet the Gruens, the four voices in question, a Midwestern family in the midst of private dramas. Father Will, an aging airline pilot, is reluctant to retire and troubled by memories of Vietnam. Mother Carol, long-sufferer of Will’s whims, is intent on opening her very own “country-themed” bed-and-breakfast despite her disdain for things rustic. Elder daughter Margaret, a history professor, is entangled in an “open marriage.” And younger daughter Leanne, bride-to-be and owner of a “high-end craft store,” is a recovering alcoholic.

We hope you enjoy this excerpt.

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—Lara Tupper

Lara Tupper used to be a lounge singer in Dubai. She now teaches writing at Rutgers University and curates the Apocalypse NOW Reading Series in New York City.

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