Be Light Like a Bird: 12/16/16
Plane crashes seem to be a recurring theme of my reading this year. Be Light Like a Bird by Monika Schröder begins with the death of Wren's father. He had been learning how to pilot a Learjet when the cabin depressurized. He and the instructor suffocated and froze long before the plane crashed over the Atlantic Ocean.
Immediately the inclusion of the Learjet detail put me in skeptical mode. You don't just start learning how to fly a plane by learning how to fly twin turbine jet — not as a civilian anyway. Besides being a complicated process, it's also expensive.
It's the expensive part of the pilot's license equation that sets the rest of this book into motion. Namely, Wren's father wasn't paying the bills so that he could squirrel away money to learn how to fly a Learjet. Wren and her mom can't afford the back payments on the mortgage and are forced to leave their home.
After numerous starts and stop along the way, they end up in a boarder town on the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. It's there that Wren finds her bearings, finds a way to grieve, and a way to make this new place her home.
Although the book has been well received from early reviewers I just never got over the initial set up. Why not have him die in a business trip crash? There could have been other ways he was squirreling away the family nest egg.
The father's death though is really just the impetus for the road trip and the reinvention of their lives. The process of getting to the last seventy or so pages is as obvious as a dot-to-dot.