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Flyaway by Kathleen Jennings

Flyaway by Kathleen Jennings is one of those books where you read through the whole thing, and almost don't really know what happened. The story follows a young girl named Bettina as she struggles to navigate the strangeness of her world and her fragmented memories to find her father and two brothers. Alongside two friends from another time -- Trish and Gary -- Tina pieces together what she can while away from the influence of her incredibly persuasive mother.

What's intriguing about this book is less the plot, and more the magical realist, fairy-tale like quality of the world in Inglewell. Each chapter switches between the search for answers to various disappearances, and related folklore native to the region. Because the stories are so obscure and unique, it's difficult to pinpoint exactly how all the pieces fit together; however, once finished reading, it's like seeing the pieces of a puzzle laid out in order without actually snapping together. You can see the big picture and understand where it all fits together, but there is still an air of uncertainty left between each puzzle piece. It is fascinating.

I'm not sure that it is a popular opinion, but I rather liked Bettina's mother. Most interactions with her are reflective in Tina's mind -- she recalls pieces of advice along her journey -- but there are brief in-person interactions at the beginning and end of the book. Her mother book ends the story, both in actual placement in the novel and in the actual plot. There are so many questions as to her intentions and her background that are so intriguing. I couldn't help, but think as I read, "What is this woman's deal?"

If you liked The Beauty by Aliya Whiteley, Dark Constellations by Pola Oloixarac, or The Dead House by Billy O'Callaghan, you'd like Flyaway. It is worth the read.

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