A Reader's Respite fully admits that we started off on the wrong foot with Laura Kasischke's new novel, In a Perfect World.
After twenty years spent in the commercial aviation industry, we were initially intrigued when we read the novel's synopsis on the back cover. We'll share a portion with you:
It was a fairy tale come true when Mark Dorn - handsome pilot, widower,
tragic father of three - chose Jiselle to be his wife. The other flight
attendants were jealous: She could quit now, leaving behind the million
daily irritations of the job. She could move into Mark Dorn's precious log
cabin and help him raise his three beautiful children.
But fairy tales aren't like marriage.
So when we dove into this novel, we weren't too happy to see the jobs of airline pilots and flight attendants so grossly misrepresented. (No, flight attendants and pilots do not, for the record, ever sit around in a bar drinking in uniform. EVER.) It made us grumpy.
A few chapters later and we changed our tune a bit, thinking that no, this novel must be about step-mothers and their complicated relationship with unwilling and unhappy stepchildren.
But no. A few chapters beyond that and we were thinking this novel was really a commentary about our society's tendency to over-react to health scares (think Swine Flu hysteria).
As it turns out, in the end, this novel was beautifully layered with depth and poignancy and a discovery of the human spirit and the choices we're faced with. Kasischke sucks you in and builds the tension steadily, almost imperceptibly, until you find yourself reluctant to set the book down.
Layers. This novel has some serious layers, folks.
Kasischke won us over and although we're pretty sure ending will leave each reader with a different impression, it will indeed leave you thinking about it long after you've turned the last page.
It's not often a novel can redeem itself as well as In a Perfect World. Highly recommended.
Intrigued? Interested? Leave us a comment saying so and you'll be entered in a random drawing to receive your own copy. Simple, right? Just check back here on October 27th to see if you won!