Anna has studiously avoided her Aunt Rose—the woman she once loved more than anyone else in the world—ever since the night Rose betrayed Anna and her mother, Rose's own fatally ill sister. In the sixteen years that have passed, Anna has built another life for herself far from her hometown on Maryland's eastern shore, but she can't forgive or forget.
Now another betrayal, by a faithless lover, has brought Anna back to her family's restaurant, where Rose needs her estranged niece's help—and trust—more than ever before. Determined to leave as soon as the struggling business is back on its feet and her own hurt is healed, Anna joins Rose in the kitchen of the Bella Sorella, resolved to remain unaffected by Rose's longing to undo the past. But Anna's resistance could blind her to a true and unexpected love that's reaching out to grab her by the heart.
New York Times bestselling author patricia gaffney's Flight Lessons is a poignant, funny, and wise story of truth, loyalty, and the bonds that shape, sustain, and ultimately uplift us.
A tinted review in adult Forecasts indicates a book that's of exceptional importance to our readers but hasn't received a starred or boxed review.FLIGHT LESSONSPatricia Gaffney. HarperCollins, (400p) Alone in a chilly loft in upstate New York, ruing the end of her affair with a two-timing sculptor, Anna Catalano, the heroine of this follow-up to Gaffney's bestselling The Saving Graces, can't resist an invitation to return home to Maryland's Eastern Shore. Her aunt Rose desperately needs a manager for her restaurant, the Bella Sorella, and it has to be family, says intermediary Aunt Iris. Rose and Anna haven't actually been on speaking terms since Anna caught Rose having an affair with Anna's father while her mother was dying. Still, telling herself it's only temporary, Anna signs on for the job. A host of clangorous, adrenaline-pumping kitchen scenes follow, and anyone who's worked in the restaurant business will especially enjoy the clash between the self-taught red-sauce chef and Anna's new hire, a culinary school grad who wants to put pesto in the minestrone. But Gaffney is unaccountably less apt in charting the romance between Anna and a bird-loving lawyer-turned-photographer named Mason Winograd, who must overcome his fear of flying as Anna overcomes her fear of nesting. Their e-mails, while blessedly free of emoticons and tech talk, are too long and too similar in voice. A delicious first kiss leads to a flat full monty: "He got her undressed and then went in the bathroom and came back nude, with condoms." In contrast, the affair between Rose and the dying Theo, Mason's stepfather, is richly nuanced, as are the relationships among the many women in the cast.