A Soft Place to Land by Susan Rebecca White

By the 3rd chapter of this book, I was ready to close it and send it on its way.  The pace was so slow that I thought I wouldn’t want to finish it.  It picked up, though, and though it continued languidly, it was interesting.

Ruthie and Julia are half sisters who are separated when their mother and her husband are killed in an airplane crash.  This separation is defining for both of them, with Ruthie able to recover and move on, but Julia dragged down into drugs and alcohol.  They both become strong young women, but are often estranged from each other.  The ending is ambiguous, but fitting.  Throughout the book, abortion, religion, homosexuality, the attack on the Twin Towers, and the landing of a plane on the Hudson River are all prominent points in the plot.  I found myself dwelling most on the concept of family, in past and present.  It isn’t a book I would read again, but it is thought-provoking.


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