Taking Flight

5174I5+x6gLA privileged, snarky teenage boy hooks up with an elderly man in the throes of Alzheimer’s. Jeremy is railing against his self-absorbed parents and goes AWOL at the airport, and Harry is simply hankering after a last taste of freedom. Down to a moment of fate they find themselves on the road together, bird-spotting. Before too long, they are both missed…
Harry’s wife is fighting her step-son in order to find Harry safe and sound and prevent Oliver from finding any more excuses to put his father in a dementia home. And once Jeremy’s parent’s realise they’ve been ‘had,’ they begin a hopeless, scatter-brained mission to track down their son.
There’s a slightly farcical element to this tale in that some of the plotting felt a little contrived here and there. And I admit to some gnashing of the teeth as to the selfish character motivation from Jeremy’s dysfunctional parents. Some of it felt a little far-fetched. And yet… these people exist. And these characters and their lifestyle choices make for a good contrast in highlighting the tenderness of the developing relationship between Jeremy and Harry, and underpinned Jeremy’s refusal to toe the line and behave as he did. The earthiness of some of the other cast members such as Grace, and Abbey, added colour, realism, and depth. At no time did this novel lapse into cheesiness or become sentimental. It’s a touching, humorous, insightful, and original story, and I enjoyed the road trip. Don’t be put off by the bland cover.

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