Turbulence

turbulence jacket

Turbulence by David Szalay

While not a typical armchair travel read, this short novel about the connections people make on 12 flights will take the reader around the world, touching down in five continents. The author has lived in five countries, including some mentioned here. In case you’re wondering, no planes crash, and I remember only one significant flight delay. More than just the flights are covered; this book details the interactions of those traveling together on a plane, traveling to or from an airport, and between those arriving in a city and someone else who will be traveling onwards. Wealthy and poor, urban and rural, healthy and not, even different views of a traffic accident are all covered. Cities flown to and from include London, Madrid, Dakar, Sao Paulo, Delhi and Kerala, Ho Chi Minh City, Hong Kong, Doha, Budapest, Seattle, and Toronto. I had to look up more than one of those! Sisters, parents and their adult children, an author, lovers and others meet and connect and the reader is left to ponder the effects of these connections on each other. A quick yet memorable read.

Brenda

Falling

Falling by T. J. Newman

A compelling read, this debut thriller is perfect summer reading; unless you’re on an airplane. Former flight attendant and bookseller Newman had many rejections when trying to find an agent, then ended up with an instant bestseller. Pilot Bill Hoffman of Coastal Airways has just begun a flight from Los Angeles to New York City with copilot Ben when he gets an emailed photo of his family, taken hostage. Expecting a ransom demand, Bill is instead told to crash the plane in order to save his wife Carrie, son Scott, 10, and baby Elise. Bill gets word to head flight attendant Jo, who has a contact with the FBI, and she agrees to try to protect the passengers. Chapters alternate between the points of view of Bill, Carrie, Jo, and the FBI, making the book increasingly difficult to put down. The author’s background makes the airplane setting and responses of the flight crew seem authentic. In a twist, the hostage taker informs Bill that he has a Plan B already on board the plane. Film rights have been sold. Readalikes include Airport by Arthur Hailey, Hostage by Clare Mackintosh and Airframe by Michael Crichton.

 

Brenda