Tuesday, September 15, 2015

The Art Of Crash Landing

   I just finished reading the book,   The Art Of Crash Landing  .  It is a fun and heartwarming story about the daughter of an alcoholic.  Fun and heartwarming story about a mother who is alcoholic?  I know. We don't see many of those hit the bookshelf.  The book was written by my friend, Melissa DeCarlo and although she illustrates well the resentments the adult daughter holds on to regarding her mother's drinking, she also shows how perfectly imperfect and loveable beings are formed from imperfect love.

The protagonist, Mattie, is strong and smart and uproariously funny.  Just like so many members of the sober community, a lot of us products of alcoholic parents ourselves.

Read it.  When you fall in love with Mattie, you just might fall in love with yourself.  When Mattie forgives her mother, you might just forgive yourself.

Here is the review I wrote of the book:

Melissa DeCarlo's "The Art of Crash Landing" is like a ride on The Twister at the State Fair, complete with quirky side-show characters that you keep wanting to sneak more peeks at. There's just enough speed and twists to leave you gasping and giddy with laughter, but it never makes you so dizzy you wish you could yell at the carnie to stop the ride and let you off. In fact, when it ends, you wish you had another ticket to make the ride last a little longer.

The main character, Mattie, has survived, admittedly, a "douchebaggy" childhood, but DeCarlo's novel illustrates that from imperfect love, perfectly imperfect and loveable beings are formed. That is what Mattie is, perfectly imperfect and infinitely more loveable because of it. With her knack for saying the perfectly wrong thing at the perfectly wrong time, with perfect panache, she's a gal you want to hang out with but at the same time, you want to take her shoulders and just shake, shake, shake some sense into her.

When she sets off, with her musician boyfriend's beloved "collectors-item-near-mint-condition-brown-leather-guitar-strap-signed-by-Jimmy-Page-and-Jeff-Beck, and his not so beloved baby in her belly, on yet another misguided, not-so-well-thought-out trip to Gandy, Oklahoma to claim her grandmother, Tilda's inheritance, Mattie never realizes that in Gandy, OK, she will meet her match in perfectly imperfect people. A half dozen or so of them. And they are the ones that hold all the secrets to her past.

The author's wit steps forward from the first paragraph and just keeps marching through the pages, but she never forgets that smart retorts and sass often has pain hiding behind it. Her characters are not only likeable, they are loveable, with enough sad history stored in each one of them to make them poignant. Everyone should have a Queeg in their life, by the way.

Anyone looking for a lighthearted and fun read with characters you wished lived right next door will want to jump on this ride.

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