CRUISING AT 30,000 FEET by Bonnie Liss


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A wry, rather involving account of what it's like to be widowed with three preadolescent sons at age 35. While husband Bob was hospitalized with leukemia, Bonnie Liss obtained a degree in architecture and began working part-time for an airline in Miami. After his death, she took a full-time job, advancing to more responsible positions within the year. As she did, she made adjustments. Housekeepers and babysitters had to substitute for her during overnight jaunts to other cities (hence the metaphoric title). Friends shunned her either because her new single status posed a threat to their own marriages, or because they simply couldn't handle the ""aggravation"" of dealing with grief. But with each new hurdle successfully vaulted Liss becomes more self-confident, more in-control: once a coffee-fetching supervisor, she develops into the propelling force behind an on-time opening of her airline's office at a new Atlanta airport site. The kids have their adjustments, too: the oldest becomes hostile, the second withdrawn and an indifferent student, while the third regresses slightly from progress he had made combating autistic tendencies. And of course Liss misses the companionship, the partnership of marriage, the sense of ""balance"" offered by two extremes' canceling each other out. (Her first three choices for babysitter are pure disasters that her husband would have forestalled.) It's a year of growth and discovery as Liss finishes the book her husband had started, promotes it on TV, and learns firsthand why her husband always winced at her father's financial contributions: for the first time in years, she pays her own property tax without appealing to her father for help. Amusing and encouraging for those in similar straits.

Pub Date: Feb. 18th, 1982
Publisher: Macmillan