The Sunday Salon: Dear American Airlines by Jonathan Miles

The Sunday
There's a reason I don't fly anymore -- well, more than one reason, but I'm not sure I'd survive an ordeal like Benjamin "Bennie" Ford did, spending 24 hours in O'Hare airport after his flight from New York to LA was cancelled mid-air.

Bennie is trying to get to LA for his daughter's "wedding" (he uses quotation marks because he's not sure what to call his lesbian daughter's commitment ceremony). The flight lands in Peoria and passengers are bussed to O'Hare in Chicago where they are forced to wait it out overnight for a flight out.

Poor Bennie; he hasn't seen his daughter since she was a baby. This is his chance to begin a relationship with her. He desperately wants to get to LA for the "wedding." While he's stuck in the airport, he writes a scathing letter to American Airlines, demanding a refund for his airfare. The letter ends up as a memoir of his rather pathetic life.

Miles has written a smart, witty, sometimes hilarious, sometimes sad and moving novel. I started reading this in bits and pieces, thinking it would be a light read, but realized I needed to devote full attention to it as it reached to depths that surprised and delighted me.

Highly recommend.

I haven't felt very bloggy this week, but I've read some amazing books, in addition to Dear A.A. Also read: Restoration by Rose Tremain and March by Geraldine Brooks, both fine works of historical fiction.


Literary Feline said...

I'm not sure I want to hear airport horror stories right now with my trip to Hawaii just a few weeks away.

I am looking forward to reading March one of these days--or anything by Brooks for that matter. She's on my must read author list.

Have a great week.

Terri said...

Thanks Wendy. The book is so much more than an airport horror story, but I understand your reluctance.

Brooks is wonderful -- one of my favorites so far this year is Year of Wonders, another historical fiction by her. She has a flair for getting into the language of the era.

Anonymous said...

I know I wouldn't survive an airport experience like that - I'm neurotic about punctuality! But the rest of your week sounds wonderful. I loved both 'Restoration' and 'March'. Tremain and Brooks are right up there on my list of authors whose work 'must not be missed'. Have you read Brooks' 'The Book of the People' yet?

Terri said...

Hi Ann -- no I haven't read Brooks' most recent but it's high on my wish list. Rose Tremain is new to me and I have a couple more of her books on my shelf. This is Rose Tremain month on the Orange Prize Project Yahoo group (Here's the link if you're interested).

Good to hear from you!

Andi said...

I can't wait to get my hands on this one!! In fact, I think I'll go to my library website right now and see if I can put it on hold.

Terri said...

Oh yeah, Andi, you'll love this one.