Flight by Lynn Steger Strong is an engaging story about siblings reuniting on their first Christmas after their mother passed.
As the demand for holiday stories continues to grow, the stories become even richer and more complex. It’s not just the romcom, more fluffy type books, which those are great as well, but there’s also a need for novels that truly dive into family dynamics and all its complexity.
While the holidays are about bringing people together and the joy that can generates, there’s also some tough aspects as well for many families. Especially with sibling relationships, which can oftentimes be quite messy.
Flight provides an example of this. The novel takes a look at a specific family who is trying to continue their late mother’s holiday traditions while each of them are going through their own struggles.
What’s the Story About
The three siblings—Henry, Kate and Martin—have joined together with their spouses and children to celebrate Christmas together. This is the first Christmas without their mother who passed away earlier in the year. She was the type of mother who thrived with holiday traditions and family reunions and the children are trying their best to maintain that special time.
However, everything is complicated. There are job losses, financial worries, parenting struggles, marriage disputes, infertility and more. Each person in the novel is trying their best to hold it together in their own way but also feeling like they’re failing constantly.
Naturally, tensions mount. But everything shifts when they all have to come together to help a local mother and her daughter.
All the Characters
I will say, three siblings and three spouses, plus the local mother and daughter, was a lot to follow. In the beginning, it was hard to keep track of who was who and who is married to this person, etc. Sometimes the problem with having so many characters is it’s hard to balance each of their arcs. I don’t think we needed to read so many different perspectives or maybe there should have just been two siblings.
That said, I did feel it was interesting to read about the relationship between the women—especially Kate and her sister-in-law Tess. It was strange in many ways but also quite raw and honest.
Other strong characters were Alice (married to Henry) and Quinn, the troubled mother who needs help finding her daughter, Maddie. There was much to unravel with those dynamics.
While we have a ton of characters to track, I still felt the focus on parenting, especially motherhood, was compelling. The author really tried to put a spotlight on all the different emotions from the love, the joy, to the frustration, to the feelings of defeat.
I feel showing that things aren’t always picture perfect, especially around the holidays, is important. I think people can look at social media and see these huge family gatherings and if they’re not experiencing that, perhaps wondering if they’re missing out.
This is something Quinn herself thinks. It’s just her and Maddie. Quinn had Maddie very young and is still acting immature in many ways as she was forced to grow up quick.
Another aspect of the holidays are the siblings’ focus on trying to keep up their mother’s tradition. And it’s tough to do so, especially with dealing with recent grief.
I think those looking for a story set in the holidays that goes a little deeper with family relationships and dynamics, will find Flight of interest. Despite the messiness of so many characters, I did feel it was engaging and overall a good read.
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