FLY AWAY HOME by Judith Kelman

FLY AWAY HOME

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KIRKUS REVIEW

 Not to be confused with the identically titled kids' movie currently in the theaters, this tale is a loopy, amusing first hardcover suspenser from women-in-perilist Kelman, author of ten mass-market originals (One Last Kiss, etc.). Did Adam Stafford II, the exquisitely handsome director of an elite New Hampshire boys' boarding school, actually father the spoiled, troublesome brat he calls his son? Bethany Logan, a witty, pretty, but sadly unmarried specialist in difficult children, becomes suspicious when Pip, whom she teaches at the school, and his widower father prove to be unusually secretive about their past. Bethany ransacks the director's files and finds clues pointing to an unsolved cradle-snatching that occurred on a gloomy island off the Connecticut coast. Similar birth dates and appearances, and a nosy neighbor's computer wizardry, persuade Bethany that Pip Stafford is the missing Ethan Haskel, whose disappearance at the age of two nudged his wealthy mother, Eva, into madness. Frustrated by incompetent law enforcement types, Bethany finds her maternal hysteria going into overdrive: She vows to return Pip/Ethan to his biological parents. This sets off a predictable chase that turns creepy as the Haskel clan's inbred eccentricities, mildewed surroundings, and vile gothic secrets set Bethany wondering what it is about childbirth that turns apparently normal women into crazy moms. Would Pip/Ethan be better off with his possibly criminal, but mentally stable, adopted dad? If so, how can Bethany undo the damage she's already caused? Kelman's charming, high-strung heroine succeeds in a giddy, turbulent mix of gothic farce, rustic New England scenery, and cautious concern over the disturbing passions children arouse in their parents. A low-fat bonbon for Susan Isaacs fans.

Pub Date: Jan. 1st, 1997
ISBN: 0-553-10193-5
Page count: 320pp
Publisher: Bantam
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15th, 1996




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