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Flying Solo: A Novel by Linda Holmes
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Flying Solo: A Novel (edition 2022)

by Linda Holmes (Author)

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13316174,658 (3.69)10
A woman returns to her small Maine hometown, uncovering family secrets that take her on a journey of self-discovery and new love, in this warm and charming novel from the New York Times bestselling author of Evvie Drake Starts Over. "Moving and tender . . . A perfect book for anyone who feels a little separate from the flock."--Rebecca Serle, New York Times bestselling author of In Five Years ONE OF THE MOST ANTICIPATED BOOKS OF 2022--BookPage Smarting from her recently canceled wedding and about to turn forty, Laurie Sassalyn returns to her Maine hometown of Calcasset to handle the estate of her great-aunt Dot, a spirited adventurer who lived to be ninety-three. Alongside boxes of Polaroids and pottery, a mysterious wooden duck shows up at the bottom of a cedar chest. Laurie's curiosity is piqued, especially after she finds a love letter to the never-married Dot that ends with the line "And anyway, if you're ever desperate, there are always ducks, darling." Laurie is told that the duck has no financial value. But after it disappears under suspicious circumstances, she feels compelled to figure out why anyone would steal a wooden duck--and why Dot kept it hidden away in the first place. Suddenly Laurie finds herself swept up in a righteous caper that has her negotiating with antiques dealers and con artists, going on after-hours dates at the local library, and reconnecting with her oldest friend and her first love. Desperate to uncover her great-aunt's secrets, Laurie must reckon with her own past and her future--and ultimately embrace her own vision of flying solo. With a cast of unforgettable characters and a heroine you will root for from page one, Flying Solo is a wonderfully original story about growing up, coming home, and learning to make a life for yourself on your own terms.… (more)
Member:kathleen.morrow
Title:Flying Solo: A Novel
Authors:Linda Holmes (Author)
Info:Ballantine Books (2022), 320 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:**
Tags:Fiction, Chick Lit, Fluff

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Flying Solo: A Novel by Linda Holmes

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» See also 10 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 14 (next | show all)
There’s a little something here—mystery, romance, and humor—for a lot of people. Read my full review here. ( )
  joyblue | Aug 13, 2022 |
Second books are hard. Some nice parts about being single and first lives. However, the story about selling stuff etc was just not great. Crime writing is not her forte. ( )
  shazjhb | Jul 28, 2022 |
The Publisher Says: A woman returns to her small Maine hometown, uncovering family secrets that take her on a journey of self-discovery and new love, in this warm and charming novel from the New York Times best-selling author of Evvie Drake Starts Over.

Smarting from her recently cancelled wedding and about to turn 40, Laurie Sassalyn returns to her Maine hometown of Calcasset to handle the estate of her great-aunt Dot, a spirited adventurer who lived to be 90. Along with boxes of Polaroids and pottery, a mysterious wooden duck shows up at the bottom of a cedar chest. Laurie’s curiosity is piqued, especially after she finds a love letter to the never-married Dot that ends with the line, “And anyway, if you’re ever desperate, there are always ducks, darling.”

Laurie is told that the duck has no financial value. But after it disappears under suspicious circumstances, she feels compelled to figure out why anyone would steal a wooden duck — and why Dot kept it hidden away in the first place. Suddenly Laurie finds herself swept up in a righteous caper that has her negotiating with antiques dealers and con artists, going on after-hours dates at the local library, and reconnecting with her oldest friend and first love. Desperate to uncover her great-aunt’s secrets, Laurie must reckon with her past, her future, and ultimately embrace her own vision of flying solo.

I CHECKED THIS OUT FROM THE LIBRARY. THANK GOODNESS THEY EXIST. BUYING EVERY BOOK I WANT TO READ WOULD BE RUINOUS!

My Review
: There's something really wonderful about reading stories that center your own concerns. I'm older than most of these characters, younger than a few, but they're not just starting out, figuring out Life, for the first time. They're part of it, settled into it, and now...there needs to be More.

Laurie and Nick dated eons ago, fell out of touch, and now that Laurie's back in their hometown to settle up her Aunt Dot's estate, she's back in touch with Nick because...well, because she wants to be. Because he wants to be, too. They're grownups with crack-ups in their pasts. They're adult children of people they love and care for. They're professionals and they're nice people.

And they're still...again...relearning how to be...in love. With each other, with their wildly separate lives and their mutually exclusive homes. They are, in short, deeply relatable to me. This book came to me as a not-quite recommendation from a LibraryThing friend who read it and resonated to its companionate themes. I'm resonating to the, well, the desire to make a relationship work that has a lot of strange contours to it and that precludes cohabitation for the foreseeable future. But is still a full, fun, vibrant, living relationship. It's not that common to see this kind of thing in fiction, though I'm aware that it exists in reality.

What happens in the course of Nick and Laurie's rediscovery of each other is a story that weaves together the best of humanity...generous, kind, unselfish souls sharing gladly all that they're asked for, looking for ways to give even more...and the worst, the dishonest and selfish impulse to lie and cheat and steal. In the course of that element of the story being resolved, in a believable way, these two main charatcers go on the real voyage of discovery inside themselves and in relation to the many, many people in their orbit.

I found a lot to enjoy in this read. I laughed out loud at Author Holmes' trademark funny lines:
“...we were pretty much out of cabinet space between the actual dishes and the food dehydrator he had bought himself and then used to make jerky a total of two—as in ‘one, two’—times.”

“How was the jerky?”

“Wretched. It tasted like wet cigarettes. We could have used it to repel raccoons.”

–and–

“...But yes, she started doing senior synchronized swimming at the Sarasota Y recently. She’s going to be in a recital. The theme is Hooray for Hollywood.”

The sound Dot made was closer to a hoot than a laugh. “Good for her. Whatever it takes to get your legs over your head.”
Fun, funny stuff that totally makes sense to someone who lives in an assisted living facility, and regularly talks about it to someone who doesn't. Author Holmes never stints on the real-life elements of her stories, so far at least, and we should all pray to the Muses she never tries to.

The real-life stuff's not *all* fun, of course, and there's a lot of relatable material in that as well:
“This is just a gruesome job. I feel so bad, like a grave robber.”

{The reseller} nodded. “You are far from a grave robber. Remember, she had these things for as long as she needed them, and they probably brought her a lot of happiness. But they most likely won’t bring you any, so there’s not a lot to gain from your coming down hard on yourself because you want to let stuff go.”

–and–

“Nah. Believe me, you don’t want to get married if the marriage you’re going to have is not the same marriage as the one you’d like to have.”
It's not deathless prose that stuns with its lapidary gleam and brilliance; it's the way your smarter-than-you friend with the sense of humor talks sense into you when you're falling off of/under/for something. It's comfortable, comforting, and relatable in the best ways.

It's a book I'm glad I read by an author I'm glad is getting contracts. That's more than enough for me right this minute. It felt like a slightly selfish, wicked little gift I was giving myself, reading this pleasant tale about people like me with concerns I could relate to. Giving it a few hours made a whole bunch more of them more pleasant, and that's worth four starts and a thank you every day. ( )
  richardderus | Jul 25, 2022 |
Oh I'm so disappointed! I loved Evvie Drake, one of my faves of 2021. This one - meh. Lead character Laurie grows up with four noisy brothers and takes refuge in her aunt Dot's home, in a small coastal Maine town, same setting as Evvie. When her aunt dies, she leaves her home to Laurie, who had canceled her wedding and had set up a comfy single life in Seattle. She comes home and reconnects with her high school boyfriend and finds a strange wood carving in a trunk in her aunt's house. Just no magic, no enthralling situations or characters, and the big mystery is a yawn. ( )
  froxgirl | Jul 19, 2022 |
I loved Linda Holmes's other book, Evvie Drake Starts Over, but I could not get into this book and so it took me forever to read. ( )
  littlemuls | Jul 19, 2022 |
Showing 1-5 of 14 (next | show all)
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For all the women in my family, for all the lives they’ve lived
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Laurie took her fingers out of her ears only after she was out of the house, and only to pick up her bike and ride the mile and a half to Aunt Dot’s.
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A woman returns to her small Maine hometown, uncovering family secrets that take her on a journey of self-discovery and new love, in this warm and charming novel from the New York Times bestselling author of Evvie Drake Starts Over. "Moving and tender . . . A perfect book for anyone who feels a little separate from the flock."--Rebecca Serle, New York Times bestselling author of In Five Years ONE OF THE MOST ANTICIPATED BOOKS OF 2022--BookPage Smarting from her recently canceled wedding and about to turn forty, Laurie Sassalyn returns to her Maine hometown of Calcasset to handle the estate of her great-aunt Dot, a spirited adventurer who lived to be ninety-three. Alongside boxes of Polaroids and pottery, a mysterious wooden duck shows up at the bottom of a cedar chest. Laurie's curiosity is piqued, especially after she finds a love letter to the never-married Dot that ends with the line "And anyway, if you're ever desperate, there are always ducks, darling." Laurie is told that the duck has no financial value. But after it disappears under suspicious circumstances, she feels compelled to figure out why anyone would steal a wooden duck--and why Dot kept it hidden away in the first place. Suddenly Laurie finds herself swept up in a righteous caper that has her negotiating with antiques dealers and con artists, going on after-hours dates at the local library, and reconnecting with her oldest friend and her first love. Desperate to uncover her great-aunt's secrets, Laurie must reckon with her own past and her future--and ultimately embrace her own vision of flying solo. With a cast of unforgettable characters and a heroine you will root for from page one, Flying Solo is a wonderfully original story about growing up, coming home, and learning to make a life for yourself on your own terms.

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