Fly Me by Daniel Riley
What’s it about?
This novel is set in the early 1970’s in Sela del Mar- right outside of L.A. Suzy Whitman has recently graduated from Vassar and follows her older sister Grace out to L.A. to join her as a stewardess. Suzy meets Billy Zar, the quintessential California boy, and her life takes off in a direction she is not expecting.
What did it make me think about?
This book is as much about Southern California in the 70’s as it is about Suzy Whitman. Mr. Riley does a great job of portraying a particular time and place.
Should I read it?
Some critics loved this one- I have to wonder why? This book is so wordy you just become exhausted. The plot gets lost in all those words! “And the whole two-shot with this saltwater towhead, and even that silly mustache, a separate entity in itself; the picture seems too dim at the edges, a Vaseline lens, the effect of motion blur.” It is as if Daniel Riley took a descriptive writing class and decided to show off his prowess. Not only is the writing too much but the plot goes off the rails as well. I loved the promise of this book much more than the final product.
“Just imagine how that view might register in the body of someone still getting used to living at the ocean. How it might bleach her judgement, boost her nerve, and lead her to places she never meant to go.”
If you like this try-
The Hearts of Men by Nickolas Butler
The Family Fang by Kevin Wilson
The Long and Faraway Gone by Lou Berney
some favorites of the last decade
best of winter 2020
best of summer/fall 2019
best of winter/spring 2019
best of summer/ fall 2018
best of winter/spring 2017-18
best of spring/summer 2017
best of winter
best of summer 2014
last spring favorites
on my nightstand
edge of your seat
― Charles William Eliot
3 to 4- I found some aspect of this book redeeming but would not recommend it.
5 to 6- I really enjoyed something about this book (characters, plot, meaning etc.) but it was uneven. Some aspects were stronger than others.
7 to 8- It was a good book. I liked lots of aspects of this book. I would recommend it.
9 to 10- I was sorry to turn the last page. I highly recommend this book!