paper airplane by Kersten L. Kelly
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This was a fun and interesting change of pace for me. Even when I read my change of pace book it is usually still a book of fiction. This one is more a work of semi-fiction. It contains a great collection of stories picked up through a lifetime of observant flying. Setup in chapters by each individual story its the type of book you can pick up and read hear and there or sit down and read the whole thing at once.
In this tumultuous, distinctive memoir, Kersten L. Kelly looks back on the most influential individuals that she encountered while flying through the clouds. Confined in a small vestibule for hours, Kelly identified an opportunity for learning and growth by chatting with the fellow passengers around her. After a few life changing conversations and unforgettable emergencies, she put the in-flight magazines to rest and never looked back. She recalls life lessons from perfect strangers about love, family, perseverance of dreams, and humility through a series of brief anecdotes all taking place on airplanes. Selfless philanthropy was discovered, long-term friendships bonded, and talents unveiled. The book proves the phrase “you never know what you will learn on an airplane” over and over again. Every chapter will capture the mind and sometimes the heart of anyone who jumps into this collection of humanity at its best. The personalities present in this book assimilate with the intrinsic characteristics all readers can relate to. With a raw authenticity stemming from old notes in a ragged journal, Kelly delivers a personal reflection of unique tales from a mile high
I enjoyed the lighthearted stories in the novel but it was much more than that. One chapter towards the beginning of the novel struck a particular cord. In chapter 3 labeled Ira, The hungry watchdog, we find our narrator struggling with the nerves of an American who is flying post September 11. No longer is she a carefree flyer, instead she finds herself more aware of the potential danger. In the end her situation ended alright but I think the chapter is one that sums up us as a nation. No longer are we carefree flyers. The long lines at security no longer make us feel safe. Instead we find ourselves on the lookout for potential dangers. Hopefully this new awareness will help keep us safe in the future but also not interfere with anyone else's liberties. After all being more aware does not give us a right at discrimination.
I also enjoyed the authors reflection on her early school days, having been the constant teachers pet myself. I luckily did not have all that many bullies to worry about but I still was able to make a connection with the author because of this chapter. I found this novel fun and enjoyable.