Friday, November 4, 2022


Flight by Lynn Steger Strong
11/8/22; 240 pages

Flight by Lynn Steger Strong is a highly recommended family drama.

For the first Christmas celebration after the death of their mother Helen, three siblings, Henry, Kate, and Martin, their spouses, and children gather together. They are celebrating the holiday but must also decide what to do with Helen's house. Martin, the oldest son, is married to Tess. Henry is married to Alice, and Kate is married to Josh. Kate is hoping that the others will agree to her and Josh moving into her mother's house. There are financial problems, long held resentments, and other tensions that are present from the start. Adding to the mix is the story of Quinn a young mother and her daughter, Madeleine (Maddy).

The key to appreciating the novel is to take care at the beginning to keep track of who the couples are, what they are struggling with, and what children belong to what parents. Once you have the characters firmly in place, you can fully appreciate the character development and the complexity of their interactions with each other. Sibling relationships can always be fraught with tension and underlying resentments that go back decades. The relationships here reflect that complexity and the challenges the group faces in making any decision that requires an agreement.

There are no exciting thrills and twists in the novel as the drama is in the nuances and interactions between the still grieving family members and spouses. The pace is slow as the focus is on the reactions of the characters. The whole family has been grieving Helen's absence especially as she had a way of helping everyone get along and find common ground with others. It is also a novel about the struggles and rewards of mothers, motherhood, and daughters.

Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of HarperCollins.

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