June 27, 2021
Dear Mr. Hemingway,
I hesitated writing to you about my latest high octane read because it involves an airplane and a potential crash. Having survived two plane crashes in literally two days, you of all people are no stranger to airplanes not landing as expected. However, I think you can handle this one, seeing that it is completely different from your experiences. Former flight attendant T.J. Newman is about to release her debut novel, Falling: A Novel on July 6th and I believe this will be a hit for more than one reason. Let’s take a peek, shall we?
I am going to be very cautious with my plot summary in an effort to NOT SPOIL a thing for you. The setup is this: Captain Bill Hoffman is an airline pilot with a wife and two small children. Thirty minutes before he takes off on a routine domestic flight, he is contacted and informed that his wife and kids have been kidnapped. He has a choice….crash the plane and kill all souls on board to save his wife and kids OR, save the flight and his family will be killed. In addition, he can not tell any of the flight attendants OR his first officer of this situation. He has five hours and twenty-four minutes to decide everyone’s fate! ARE YOU READY?????
Adjust your tray tables and seat backs into their upright positions, Newman’s novel is a high tension read with a ginormous helping of suspense and terror. Newman does a fantastic job making a routine morning feel like it happened in a completely different lifetime. Her gripping tale teases and torments, keeping you glued to your cozy couch until the very end. There is no time to come up for air and putting this book down to go to sleep is basically not happening. Plan to read this in as close to one sitting as possible.
I love the way Newman delivers heart pounding action in the air and on the ground. Because Newman was a flight attendant for so many years, her descriptions of what happened inside the plane felt authentic to me. The chapters that took place in-flight had details that I imagine only a seasoned flight attendant would know. My knuckles turned white as a ghost from clutching the side of my chair so hard from all the jumpiness on board. Let me also share that the simultaneous drama happening on the ground not only left me with a spinning head, but managed to tug at my heartstrings a bit too hard. The greatest aspect of Newman’s book is that you can read it as an action packed story without overthinking it OR enjoy it as a pulse pounding read while also examining why a scenario like this comes to be and what are the moral dilemmas at stake for everyone involved. In my opinion, Falling makes an awesome book club choice. Whether you choose to read Falling as an entertaining tale or want to explore it further, one thing’s for sure…DO NOT READ THIS AIRBORNE!
Until next time my friend!
Your Biggest Fan,
P.S. T. J. Newman is a former bookseller turned flight attendant. She worked for Virgin America and Alaska Airlines from 2011 to 2021. She wrote much of this book on cross-country red-eye flights while her passengers were asleep. How cool is that!!!!!
***I received an advance reader copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. My opinions are 100% my own. If I don’t like it…I don’t share it!