Review: Landing Gear

Posted July 3, 2014 by Whitney in Review / 0 Comments

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Landing GearLanding Gear
Author Kate Pullinger
Publisher Touchstone
Publication Date May 20, 2014
Genre: General Fiction
Source: Publisher
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From the award-winning author of The Mistress of Nothing comes a highly imaginative story of colliding worlds and extraordinary connections.

Spring 2010. A volcano unexpectedly erupts in Iceland and airspace is shut down over Europe. Harriet works in local radio in London, and with most of her colleagues abroad, she seizes a unique career opportunity. Her husband, Michael, stuck in New York on business, travels to visit an old flame, and their teenage son, Jack, feeling liberated from normal life, takes an unexpected risk only to find himself in trouble. Meanwhile Emily, a young TV researcher, loses her adoptive father to a heart attack, and half a world away, a Pakistani migrant worker named Yacub is stranded in a Dubai labor camp.

Two years later, Yacub, attempting to stow away, falls out of the landing gear of an airplane onto Harriet’s car in a London supermarket parking lot—and survives—while Emily accidentally captures it all on film. Yacub’s sudden arrival in the lives of Harriet, Jack, Michael, and Emily catapults these characters into a series of life-changing events, ultimately revealing the tenuous, often unexpected ties that bind us together.

Inspired by real-life accounts of airplane stowaways, Landing Gear is about the complex texture of modern life, and how we fight the loneliness of the nuclear family to hold on to one another.

Initial Thoughts:
When I first heard of Landing Gear I thought it had a very interesting premise and was curious as to how all these different stories would twine together.

Fond Of:
I loved the idea of Landing Gear, it was as fresh as the air Yacub breathed in on his way down to Earth, and while each character had their fault, for the most part I enjoyed getting to know each one better.  While each was unique in its own way I enjoyed reading about Harriet and Emily the most who search for persons once lost.  I think the reason I enjoyed this is because my mother was adopted and searched (and found) her biological parents.  While fiction, the thought that persons have gone from letter writing to a search on Facebook is fascinating, if not a little intrusive.  As for Yacub, I flopped between my feelings for him.  I first found the cultural aspect interesting until he fell on Harriet’s car, then for whatever reason he started to annoy me and thought his mall shopping dragged the story down.  But, at the novel’s end Yacub became the Superman of the story creating an enriching ending.

Not Fond Of:
When I began reading Pullinger’s novel I became weary of the Prologue.  While it was lyrical and beautifully written it was almost too much so (if there is such a thing) almost like the author had gotten a little to lost in her head, and found the segment fragmented.  Although, this was quickly remedy once I read further in as each section seemed better connected.

I really disliked Michael’s storyline, I’ve never been one for cheaters and feel like they are a waste of pages, this is just my opinion, but I wished he had stayed across the water with the volcanic ash, or that Harriet had kicked him to the curb never to return.  I also had a slight issue with the drug use in Jack’s part.  Perhaps I’m old-fashioned but I found the idea of a fourteen year old partying like a college student ridiculous and a little contrived.  I thought these two characters were the least developed and read the parts as if I were being dredged underwater.

Final Thoughts:
Despite the few character flubs Kate Pullinger’s novel was exceptional and a novel I’ve already recommended.

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