Friday, April 29, 2016

Patricia Gaffney - Flight Lessons

Anna has studiously avoided her Aunt Rose—the woman she once loved more than anyone else in the world—ever since the night Rose betrayed Anna and her mother, Rose's own fatally ill sister. In the sixteen years that have passed, Anna has built another life for herself far from her hometown on Maryland's eastern shore, but she can't forgive or forget.
Now another betrayal, by a faithless lover, has brought Anna back to her family's restaurant, where Rose needs her estranged niece's help—and trust—more than ever before. Determined to leave as soon as the struggling business is back on its feet and her own hurt is healed, Anna joins Rose in the kitchen of the Bella Sorella, resolved to remain unaffected by Rose's longing to undo the past. But Anna's resistance could blind her to a true and unexpected love that's reaching out to grab her by the heart.

Comment: This another one of the books by mrs Gaffney I had around... this is a contemporary story, more within woman's fiction, and something different from her historicals, which was what give her her name. I liked this story more than the previous contemporary I had read by her.

This is the story of Anna, a woman in her thirties that recently caught her boyfriend sleeping with her boss and she decides to change scenery even if, for that, she needs to return home to the family restaurant, now managed by her aunt Rose, someone she can't stand since she figured out she and her father were cheating on her dying mother.
Anna tries to act all grown-up, being cool about everything but she still feels a lot of anger and she warns her aunt she will only be there for a while... in the meantime, new people enter her life, people to challenge her own limitative views on happiness and expectations and there's even someone she didn't plan on being friends with, much less a lover, but that's what happens.
At some point, though, things have to be dealt with? Can Anna do it or will she run again?

All things considered I liked this novel more than the previous contemporary because this one has a plot I could follow better and were more interested in.
However, the biggest issue here for me was Anna herself. She acts like the world owns something to her and despite her reaction to what she saw she never tried to understand, no matter how much that could have hurt. I get why she feels cheated too and part of me has to be on her side and accepts why she behaved so badly, I can't imagine something like that in RL. But we, as the reader, have access to some knowledge she doesn't... and when she does, her opinions are already colored. I think showing understanding and mature notions about what is right and wrong between people that should be the symbol of your youth isn't easy... but with time Anna should have been able to weight all perspectives into her head...and that didn't happen, so she became someone very close to her youthful experiences, which certainly didn't help her in dealing with the people around her now.

Despite Anna's struggles with acceptance and understanding, she still is an interesting character and I liked her personality when she was dealing with Frankie, the new sous-chef at the restaurant and with Mason, the man she comes to fall in love with.
In fact, this was my favorite part, the romance. I got to see a part of Anna that isn't obvious when she's being too polite or mad at her aunt and the way they slowly started to be friends and confiding in each other to become lovers was sweet and well done, I think. I kept on reading because I wanted to have more time with them.

The book, being woman's fiction, obviously gives us several perspectives into what makes a woman think and feel, several types of relationships and reactions to things... I confess I felt sad over a certain issue that happened and how that also affected some of the other characters. But in a way, it helped for the main characters to come to a compromise and finally an understanding!
Because this is woman's fiction, several other problems and situations are discussed here...we get to see the reactions of possible outcomes of problems in real life... it's interesting but in a way, woman's fiction can be slightly too depressing...I prefer books to offer some fantasy even if believable in reality.

All in all, this was an interesting read but I would have liked things to develop in a different way when it came to Anna and some of her behavior and attitudes.. I think that, for such interesting themes, some of the development wasn't as smooth or well explained as it should have been. But yes, this was a better book in terms of romance than the other woman's fiction by the author I've read. And that helped me think more positively of this book.
Grade: 7/10

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