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Book club questions for Flight by Lynn Steger Strong takes a closer look at this interesting novel about complicated family dynamics. There will be spoilers so for more context about the story, check out my spoiler-free review first.
Flight is one of those stories I could see being turned into a mini series. I think a show format could also balance all the different characters and their various journeys quite well.
That’s a lot going on and plenty of unanswered questions as well. Sometimes stories wrap up everything nicely in the end but I felt this one was more of a snapshot of the family at this given time.
It’s December twenty-second and siblings Henry, Kate, and Martin have converged with their spouses on Henry’s house in upstate New York. This is the first Christmas the siblings are without their mother, the first not at their mother’s Florida house. Over the course of the next three days, old resentments and instabilities arise as the siblings, with a gaggle of children afoot, attempt to perform familiar rituals, while also trying to decide what to do with their mother’s house, their sole inheritance. As tensions rise, the whole group is forced to come together unexpectedly when a local mother and daughter need help.
With the urgency and artfulness that cemented her previous novel Want as “a defining novel of our age” (Vulture), Strong once again turns her attention to the structural and systemic failings that are haunting Americans, but also to the ways in which family, friends, and strangers can support each other through the gaps. Flight is a novel of family, ambition, precarity, art, and desire, one that forms a powerful next step from a brilliant chronicler of our time.
Book Club Questions for Flight
- Why do you feel Flight was chosen as the book title? What does it represent to the story as a whole?
- There’s a lot of characters and storylines in this story. Did you feel it was easy to keep track of or did you find it confusing at times?
- Did you relate to any of the characters?
- Why was it important for this family to keep up their mother’s holiday traditions?
- We learn about their mother, Helen, through everyone’s memories of her. What was your impression of her?
- Why do you think the author included the Quinn/Maddie storyline? How did it help enhance this family story?
- A big plot point is what to do with Helen’s house in Florida. Kate wants to raise her family there while Tess, her sister-in-law, is the main objector to it. Why was Tess so against this for most of the book? What was the key turning point for her to change her mind?
- This story is very much relationship focused from siblings to spouses to in-laws. Which relationship really stuck out to you and why?
- What do you think happens next for each of the characters?
- What are some of the key themes that resonated with you?
Hope you enjoyed book club questions for Flight! Here are some more recommendations along with links to book club questions.
Seven Days of Us by Francesca Hornak
If you’re looking for another holiday story featuring complex family dynamics, check out Seven Days of Us by Francesca Hornak.
It’s Christmas, and for the first time in years the entire Birch family will be under one roof. Even Emma and Andrew’s elder daughter—who is usually off saving the world—will be joining them at Weyfield Hall. But Olivia, a doctor, is only coming home because she has to. She’s just returned from treating an epidemic abroad and has been told she must stay in quarantine for a week…and so too should her family.
For the next seven days, the Birches are locked down, cut off from the rest of humanity, and forced into each other’s orbits. Younger, unabashedly frivolous daughter Phoebe is fixated on her upcoming wedding, while Olivia deals with the culture shock of first-world problems.
As Andrew sequesters himself in his study writing scathing restaurant reviews and remembering his glory days as a war correspondent, Emma hides a secret that will turn the whole family upside down.
In close proximity, not much can stay hidden for long, and as revelations and long-held tensions come to light, nothing is more shocking than the unexpected guest who’s about to arrive….
Check out my book club questions here.
Comfort & Joy by Kristin Hannah
Another great holiday read is Comfort & Joy by Kristin Hannah.
Joy Candellaro once loved Christmas more than any other time of the year. Now, as the holiday approaches, she is at a crossroads in her life; recently divorced and alone, she can’t summon the old enthusiasm for celebrating. So without telling anyone, she buys a ticket and boards a plane bound for the beautiful Pacific Northwest. When an unexpected detour takes her deep into the woods of the Olympic rainforest, Joy makes a bold decision to leave her ordinary life behind—to just walk away—and thus begins an adventure unlike any she could have imagined.
In the small town of Rain Valley, six-year-old Bobby O’Shea is facing his first Christmas without a mother. Unable to handle the loss, Bobby has closed himself off from the world, talking only to his invisible best friend. His father Daniel is beside himself, desperate to help his son cope. Yet when the little boy meets Joy, these two unlikely souls form a deep and powerful bond. In helping Bobby and Daniel heal, Joy finds herself again.
But not everything is as it seems in quiet Rain Valley, and in an instant, Joy’s world is ripped apart, and her heart is broken. On a magical Christmas Eve, a night of impossible dreams and unexpected chances, Joy must find the courage to believe in a love—and a family—that can’t possibly exist, and go in search of what she wants . . . and the new life only she can find.
Check out book club questions here.