July 26, 2014

Landing Gear by Kate Pullinger

Landing Gear by Kate Pullinger is a novel about an interesting concept that did take place in real life, well sort of. This story revolves around the airplane stowaway, Yacub, who falls on Harriet’s car.

Book Description
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.” – Landing Gear

My Thoughts
Landing Gear is a book I really thought would be interesting. The concept was really cool and something I had never thought about before. I’m a bit mixed on the actual end product of it though. I like it, but I think it could have been much better if laid out a bit differently.

There is a lot of “flashback” portions of the book to show how the characters became who they are after their chance meetings. Sometimes flashback sequences work out very well, other times, they fall flat, like this one. The characters didn’t really captivate me, except Yacub, so learning about their backstories didn’t interest me that much.

The overall plot itself is good and actually tells a very unique story, which I definitely give the author my applause for. Overall, I think it is okay and would be a good summer read. It sadly wouldn’t be at the top of my list though.

* Thank you to the publisher of Landing Gear, Touchstone, for providing me with a copy of this book for review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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