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,
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.