Georgia Hansen can fly. All the women in her family can. They fly at night, when the world sleeps, for no one must discover their secret. Georgia will soon turn 16 and make her first solo flight, taking up her birthright with a special ceremony to mark the occasion. But her anticipation is disrupted with the arrival of her rebellious Aunt Carmen. Banished from the family years before for breaking the strict code of flying enforced by Georgia's grandmother, this unknown aunt reveals the true price of her family's gift, for the Hansen rules of flying are strict and unforgiving.
In this powerful coming-of-age novel, Georgia must weigh the cost of her heritage against her passion for flight.
School Library Journal
Despite its marvelous premise, the book has some flaws. The first-person narrative restricts how much readers know about the characters. Georgia's grandmother is a caricature of a domineering matriarch and it's difficult to understand her daughters' motivations and behavior..... Too many strands of the story are left unanswered, making it tough to sustain a suspension of disbelief. Still, Murphy is a writer to watch and there will surely be teenage girls who will enjoy her first novel. Grades 5-9.
Like Jane Langton's Georgie Hall in The Fledgling, the narrator of Murphy's enchanting first novel is learning to fly...... Murphy seamlessly links the metaphor of flying with Georgia's rite of passage. An auspicious debut. Ages 12-up.
The writing is full of apt and innovative images (e.g., Beulah the old Volvo wagon that is like a Southern woman, She just has weight and composure). The beauty and the danger of flight are skillfully imagined. While some readers may reprove the almost misandristic absence of men, for readers who suspend disbelief, the richly developed, seclusive fantasy world of the Hansen women with its own history, rituals, and mores will fascinate, and the conclusion, with the promise of Georgia's safe landing, will satisfy. (Fiction. 10-14)
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