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The Four Corners of the Sky: A Novel

by Michael Malone

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3091836,089 (3.31)9
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Showing 18 of 18
Four Corners of BORING!!

Took me forever to read. I am normally a voracious reader and this book was plain torture to get through. I considered placing it aside but I am one that has to finish something I've started, afraid I would miss something great. Well, I can tell you THIS; I missed nothing and I can't believe I wasted so much time with this story, one that should've been told in a short novella because it lacked interest for anything over 120 pages. The whole time, all I could think was GET ON WITH IT ALREADY!!! And, don't even get me started on the goofy cliches.
Lieutenant Annie P. Goode is a top gun pilot in the U.S. Navy. She drives a Porsche. She breaks records (and the hometown band honors her with a little diddy to the tune of "Johnny Be Good"). When she takes flight, air-traffic control tower clears her for takeoff with, "And you're Goode to go!!" Somebody shoot me!!! And then, to insult women everywhere, the author thought up a fat sidekick friend for Annie. Annie, of course, had men tripping all over her but the overweight, RICH, doctor friend, who was apparently unworthy of a love life because of her weight, must constantly be a goofy joke. Poor, unloved Georgette!! Really? Yes! Was a tedious read for me. The plot line is ridiculous and I rather hate myself for reading this. So many wasted nights when I could've been reading, Oh! I don't know, ANYTHING ELSE!!! Sorry, this was just Four Corners to many for me! ( )
  MaryEvelynLS | Jun 1, 2014 |
I enjoyed this book so much that I found it hard to put it down until finishing it a few days later. It centers around Annie, a motherless child left by her con-artist father at the age of 7 with her aunt. The characters surrounding Annie as she grows up are developed through memories of their earlier days and connections with Annie's father. The gift of an old airplane from her father leads to Annie's lifelong goal of becoming the best pilot ever. She graduates at the top of her class at Annapolis and is a top Navy pilot by age 26 when her father suddenly pops back into her life. Things get crazy from that point on, but I won't spoil the best parts of the book. I highly recommend that you read it! ( )
  okjlsaz | Feb 6, 2014 |
Very interesting if a little long and at times repetitive. I like the way he used the sky metaphor throughout, and the characters were compelling. ( )
  flightsafancy | Feb 2, 2014 |
I absolutely loved this book. It was engaging, heart-warming, and exiting. An epic thrill ride! ( )
  daatwood | Nov 21, 2013 |
Engrossing read if you're interested in flying. Intriguing plot twist around a Cuban religious relic but it could have been shorter. ( )
  sushitori | Aug 1, 2013 |
Lots of interesting characters, very finely drawn. Plot line was a bit tedious. the whole book would have been improved if it was considerably shorter. ( )
  mojomomma | Jun 13, 2013 |
Easy, entertaining read with appealing characters. Descends into farce at times. Definitely could be shorter - lots of it could be tightened up and made less repetitive. ( )
  TerriBooks | May 23, 2011 |
I tried to get through this, but I haven’t yet succeeded. I like the idea of the story, but for me it is a little drawn out. It is very well written and interesting, but I want more of a conclusion a little sooner than this has given me. I’ve put this one away for a while, even though I’m almost finished, maybe a third left. Hopefully, I’ll appreciate it more at a later point.
  traciragas | Jul 28, 2010 |
Summer reading 2009.
  greg101 | Jun 7, 2010 |
The Four Corners of the Sky. Michael Malone. 2009. I loved this book! It is great fun! Another romp with Malone is always a joy. I may go back and re-read Handling Sin! Annie’s father, a charming scoundrel, left her with her aunt when she was seven. Annie is a successful navy test pilot when her father calls her, tells her he’s dying and promises to tell her mother’s name if she will help him. Annie reluctantly agrees and so begins a typical, funny, Malone adventures filled with delightful characters and funny-sad moments. It is a treat to read! The characters are wonderfully drawn and delightful! ( )
  judithrs | Dec 7, 2009 |
A sort of Chick-Lit version of "Handling Sin," this was an enjoyable, light read. Malone is such a good writer that you almost don't mind when he spends way too many pages setting up the story. I counted, and one scene spanned 60 pages and several chapters. Get on the plane already. The humor mostly fell flat, and the characters were pretty one-dimensional types borrowed from his other books. ( )
  BobNolin | Sep 28, 2009 |
This is a big book. The sort that I shy away from unless I have unlimited amunts of time at my disposal, which of course, being the mother of three very active children, never occurs anymore. But this book sounded good. And it was something I had made a commitment to read. And do you know what? I read it as quickly as I've read many a much shorter book. That is to say, Malone can put together a story that gallops along and certainly keeps a reader turning pages fast and furiously as I did with this one.

Annie Peregrine Goode is 26. She's in the middle of divorcing her cheating ex-husband. And she's going home to see the aunt and aunt's best friend who raised her after her con-man father dumped her at the family home and ran when she was seven. Told by dizzying jumps forward and backwards in time, the mystery of Annie's mother, why her dying father needs her help now after all these years, and the story of a possibly real but possibly apocryphal Cuban treasure cram the book's pages thoroughly. As the reader stumbles along with Annie, trying to figure out the important things she needs to know and what she can just let go, Malone manages to weave a rollicking, fun story. His characters are quirky and off-beat. Perhaps a few of the plot lines are ultimately given short shrift but the plethora of characters helps to illuminate the themes of unconventionality, familial love, drive, and learning to fly on your own (the literal standing in for the figurative here given Annie's status as a top-notch Naval pilot).

As this is an overly long book, it could probably have done with some cutting and it does get repetitive in places, especially for the reader who doesn't put it down often. Sometimes the repetitiveness makes it all too obvious where the plot is going and which bits are most important to remember but if you can ignore the occasional heavy-handedness and the unbelievable character coincidences that make it terrifically obvious Malone wrote for a soap opera, you can still have an entertaining and adrenaline-laden read. I did notice this stuff, and yet, overall, it was still a light and fun read for me. So don't let the length scare you off but be willing to suspend disbelief and enjoy a dip into a Southern style soap opera. ( )
2 vote whitreidtan | Sep 27, 2009 |
This book was way too long for its plot. The author was repetitive. Ok, I get that the main character was very driven. Ok, I get it that her father was a con artist. Hundreds of pages later, the author is still telling the reader what to think. Not a surprising outcome, either. Too bad, I wished that it was otherwise. ( )
  tibsboys | Sep 4, 2009 |
wonderful book, full lusious and a great book for the book group to read next year. Annie, the Navy pilot, seraching for her father, Jack and raised by her gay Aunt Sam and her friend Clark. Wonderful story of love, redemption, longing and finding answers to life's tough questions of betrayal and desertion. ( )
1 vote laurie_library | Aug 10, 2009 |
I adored this book, which has the usual Malone mixture of fantastic situations, plot-driven narrative, and - at least this time - enough interesting and sympathetic characters to hold my interest. I've read at least six books by Malone, and find them highly variable. Perhaps the best is Handling Sin, while others like Times Witness (and Dingley Falls) wasted far too many pages in rants on social issues like capital punishment, while forgetting about character development and tieing up all the loose ends by the time the novel ends (a major Malone weakness).
Four Corners suffers from none of these faults.The major female characters are fascinating (The women in Malone's work generally tend to be the most interesting), the plot, although it wanders all over the place, returns to the major focus and resolves all at the end. This also features a rapidly-vanishing virtue in modern litererature, the (mostly) happy ending.
Strongly recommended. ( )
  rjacobs17 | Aug 6, 2009 |
"It was Dan who put the last pieces into the center of the puzzle, so that the sky was one huge blue square. Clark, Sam, and Annie stared at it, a little disappointed. Somehow, all those years, finding the right shapes, fitting them together, they had imagined that this square would be more than it turned out to be. Bluer? Bigger? Filled with meaningful symbols? Somehow more?" (Page 528 of the ARC)

Michael Malone's The Four Corners of the Sky is a story of the Peregrine family and particularly Annie Goode, con artist Jack Peregrine's daughter. From its Wizard of Oz feel to its convoluted mystery, Michael Malone shifts from past to present and person to person, but it is far from confusing and a highly enjoyable ride.

"After the muddy hues of Emerald, North Carolina, Miami had almost blinded her. Miami was in Technicolor. Annie felt as if she'd awakened in a tropical cartoon of hot pink birds and purple flowers, set to salsa music. What's more, she felt rested, although the rest had been imposed on her." (Page 241 of the ARC)

Lt. Annie Peregrine Goode is a fighter pilot in the Navy who is dropped off by her father, Jack, in Emerald, N.C., at her aunt Sam's house when she is only 7 years old. Sam, Jack's sister, is a lesbian eager to play matchmaker who lives with her childhood friend Clark Goode, who has given up on love after several marriages. Annie is divorcing her husband and fellow Navy pilot Brad Hopper and heading back to Emerald for her 26th birthday party with family and friends, including Georgette. Hoping that her trip back home will help clear her head and get her life back on track, Annie is completely unaware of the mystery she has to unravel concerning her father, a mother she has never known, and La Reina Coronada del Mar (Queen of the Sea).

Malone's training as a soap opera writer is apparent in this novel with its over-the-top characters--Raffy Rook, Jack Peregrine, Vietnam Vet D.K. Destin, Helen Clark aka Ruthie Nickerson, Dan Hart, Sam Peregrine, and Georgette Nickerson--but his writing style is vivid and compelling as each of these characters' lives peels back slowly revealing the deep love and connection they all share.

"'Sometimes these ladies I [Raffy] flop on? These ladies and myself, at Golden Days, we got to be friends. We go to the salad bars, botanical gardens, zoo, IMAX. They get a senior's discount, I play them a song on my guitar. It's a connection. And in this sad fast life, how many do we make time for?' He spoke wistfully into the water bottle, as if he were depositing his confession inside and then quickly screwing the cap back on to keep it there." (Page 340 of the ARC)

Readers will enjoy the plot twists and revelations in The Four Corners of the Sky as Annie heals old wounds left by her father when he abandoned her and refused to reveal her mother's identity. She finds strength in adversity and strives under pressure. The subordinate characters--Raffy, Sam, Clark, and Georgette--add comedy to the plot. While some portions of this novel are a bit too long and veer off randomly into the past, these tangents are vivid and entertaining. Some readers may be put off by the continuous movie references made by Sam, Clark, and other characters or the constant puns, but these character flaws set these characters apart, providing them greater depth. Overall, Malone creates an intricate family web that readers must unravel to understand the depth to which a daughter can love her father in spite of his faults, learn to forgive those faults, and dig deep within herself to emerge a stronger woman whose foundation she couldn't initially see. ( )
  sagustocox | May 15, 2009 |
This book was just O.K. for me. Not bad, but nothing to drop everything for. This is a long book and it took more than the usual 100 pages to get me interested in it. In fact, I not sure that I was totally interested until the very end.

The book is totally wrapped around Annie. She desperately wants to know who her mother is, but in order to find out, she has to chase her con-man of a father all over the country. Annie finds herself caught up in a scheme in which her father is trying to secure one million dollars to give to Annie. Annie's character is well developed, but I'm not sure that any woman, especially with the intelligence that Annie has, would chase the man that abandoned her as a child. I don't think that I would! I really liked Annie and wanted things to work out for her, so I was glad that she finally found love.
The big con that Annie's father was wrapped up in seemed really far fetched. I know that this is a fiction book, but do cons like this really exist? I just couldn't believe some of the things that went on with him. Maybe it's just that I'm totally naive to that sort of thing, but I couldn't picture this stuff actually happening. I would also have like to see a little more suspense. I never felt the urge to jump ahead in this book because there wasn't anything teasing me to do so.

This book was drawn out and went on and on, but the ending was really good and totally fitting to the rest of the story. There were so many underlying messages about family and love, and many of them came out in the end. Sam and Clark had the most incredible relationship and were such great 'parents' to Annie. I found myself wanting to give up on this book, but I'm glad that I didn't. ( )
  kysmom02 | May 11, 2009 |
A young woman, abandoned by her father at age 7, grows up under the care of an aunt and her friend. She learns to fly and joins the US Navy as a pilot. Suddenly, on her 26th birthday, she gets a message from her father asking for her help in retriving an item from Cuba. She gets involved with her father's schemes and starts a fascinating journey to help him and to possibly find out who her mother was. ( )
  Beth350 | Mar 18, 2009 |
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