Tuesday 2 June 2015

Flight by Isabel Ashdown

Flight is Isabel Ashdown's fourth novel. I have another of her books but haven't yet read it although I plan to now! I read this a while ago and planned to review it sooner but life happened and so this review never did, but it's a sign of how good the book was that the story is still pretty fresh in my mind.

When Wren Irving's numbers come up in the first National Lottery draw, she doesn't tell her husband, Rob. Instead she quietly packs her bags, kisses her six-month-old daughter Phoebe goodbye, and leaves. 

Moving between the majestic coastline of North Cornwall and London's leafy suburbs, Flight is a story of secrets and lies - and of the indelible traces left behind when someone tries to disappear. 

When I first read the blurb of this book I thought it sounded like it would be fine - interesting enough to grab my attention and hold it but nothing special and to an extent, I was right. A lot about the story is fairly solid. There aren't a huge number of twists or really much that is unexpected about it except for me the quality of the writing. I didn't expect it to be bad, but nor did I expect it to be as good as it was. Really the thing that made Flight stand out to me was not the story but the way that it was told. I really liked every character, even the ones that didn't get much time devoted to them. All of them were really strong on the page and in my head and because of that the story tied together so well. There's a lot in it - stuff about love, motherhood, growing up, questions of identity - but the story never feels overwhelmed by the themes.

Honestly I'm not going to say much else about the characters or what it's about because the blurb speaks for itself and if it sounds at all appealing you should really just read the book and let that do the talking. Flight falls into the category of the kind of book which is really easy to write badly and very very difficult to write well and Isabel Ashdown has done a fantastic job.

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