13. Reader’s Digest Select Editions, Volume 5: Flight Lessons by Patricia Gaffney (2002)
The Reader’s Digest Select Editions Series Volume 5: 2002 – (Daddy’s Little Girl/Without Fail/Flight Lessons/Three Weeks in Paris)
Length: 129 pages
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Started: 9 February 2015
Finished: 10 February 2015
Where did it come from? From a Library Book Sale
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 10 October 2007
Why do I have it? I like contemporary fiction and have read and enjoyed several books by this author in the past. I also love to read Reader’s Digest Select Editions from time to time.
“She might have to go as a grownup, not a mortal besieged by capricious gods, not a fierce, romantic, suicidal poet. An adult. If not capable of forgiving old sins, then at least willing to pretend, for the sake of peace, that they’d never been committed.”
“Clever Rose. Anna hadn’t given her credit for so much cunning.”
Growing up, Anna Catalano had deeply admired and tried her best to emulate her unmarried aunt Rose, someone who led a much more exotic and glamorous life than her mother. Rose was the woman who Anna loved most in the world – the person she had at one time believed understood her best. However, as her mother lies dying, Anna discovers that her aunt Rose has betrayed Anna and her mother, Rose’s own terminally ill sister in the worst way possible.
In the sixteen years that have passed, Anna has done her best to build another life for herself far from her hometown on Maryland’s eastern shore, but she still can’t forgive or forget Rose’s shocking betrayal. Yet, it is a faithless lover’s betrayal of her which eventually brings Anna back home – seeking an escape from her pain in the one place that she never expected to see again. So, Anna returns to her family’s faltering restaurant, where Rose needs her estranged niece’s help – and trust – more than ever before.
Determined to leave as soon as the struggling business is back on its feet and her own hurt is healed, Anna reluctantly joins her aunt in the kitchen of ‘Bella Sorella’, where values clash and generations collide – and also in the outside community, where their personal lives become entangled in surprising ways. Although Rose realizes that her niece has come home, it’s clear that Anna doesn’t plan to stay, despite Rose’s many attempts to regain her niece’s trust. Yet, as mistrustful as Anna is – her resolve to remain unaffected by Rose’s longing to undo past mistakes – may just blind her to a true and unexpected love that’s reaching out to grab her by the heart. Moving, funny, and ultimately reassuring about life and love, Ms. Gaffney’s novel is just the thing her readers have been waiting for.
I must say that while this book was very good, it wasn’t necessarily Ms. Gaffney’s best work – at least in my opinion. It was certainly well-written and poignant, but for me, this story was slightly too wrapped up in the romantic subplot to be fully enjoyable. Although I appreciated that the main characters owned and operated a restaurant – I could completely relate to that aspect of the story, having owned and operated a restaurant myself. Overall, I would give Flight Lessons by Patricia Gaffney an A!
A! – (90-95%)
Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight