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Summary and book reviews of The Last Flight by Julie Clark

The Last Flight

by Julie Clark

The Last Flight by Julie Clark X
The Last Flight by Julie Clark
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  • Published:
    Jun 2020, 320 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Kim Kovacs
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About this Book

Book Summary

For fans of Lisa Jewell and Liv Constantine, The Last Flight is the story of two women - both alone, both scared - and one agonizing decision that will change the trajectory of both of their lives.

Two women. Two Flights. One last chance to disappear.

Claire Cook has a perfect life. Married to the scion of a political dynasty, with a Manhattan townhouse and a staff of ten, her surroundings are elegant, her days flawlessly choreographed, and her future auspicious. But behind closed doors, nothing is quite as it seems. That perfect husband has a temper that burns as bright as his promising political career, and he's not above using his staff to track Claire's every move, making sure she's living up to his impossible standards. But what he doesn't know is that Claire has worked for months on a plan to vanish.

A chance meeting in an airport bar brings her together with a woman whose circumstances seem equally dire. Together they make a last-minute decision to switch tickets ― Claire taking Eva's flight to Oakland, and Eva traveling to Puerto Rico as Claire. They believe the swap will give each of them the head start they need to begin again somewhere far away. But when the flight to Puerto Rico goes down, Claire realizes it's no longer a head start but a new life. Cut off, out of options, with the news of her death about to explode in the media, Claire will assume Eva's identity, and along with it, the secrets Eva fought so hard to keep hidden.

CLAIRE

Monday, February 21
The Day Before the Crash

"Danielle," I say, entering the small office that sits adjacent to our living room. "Please let Mr. Cook know I'm going to the gym."

She looks up from her computer, and I see her gaze snag on the bruise along the base of my throat, concealed with a thin layer of makeup. I automatically adjust my scarf to cover it, knowing she won't mention it. She never does.

"We have a meeting at Center Street Literacy at four," she says. "You'll be late again." Danielle keeps track of my calendar and my missteps, and I've pegged her as the one most likely to report when I don't arrive on time to meetings, or when I cancel appointments that my husband, Rory, deems important. If I'm going to run for Senate, we don't have the luxury of making mistakes, Claire.

"Thank you, Danielle. I can read the calendar as well as you can. Please have my notes from the last meeting uploaded and ready to go. I'll meet you there." As I leave the room, I hear her pick...

Please be aware that this discussion guide may contain spoilers!
  1. What do Claire and Eva have in common? In what ways are they different?
  2. How do you feel about Eva's decision to manipulate Claire?
  3. Put yourself in Claire's shoes. How would it feel knowing that you've traded your life for someone else's? Would you feel guilty or fortunate? Why?
  4. Describe the obstacles Claire faces once she escapes from Rory. Were there any difficulties that surprised you?
  5. Compare Claire's relationships with other women in the book like Eva, Danielle, Petra, and Kelly. Are any of these women sim- ilar? In what way?
  6. Discuss Eva's childhood. How does it affect how she behaves as an adult?
  7. Identify some of the triggers Claire faces as a result of Rory's abuse. How do you think she can overcome them?
  8. Claire makes the ...
Please be aware that this discussion guide may contain spoilers!

Here are some of the comments posted about The Last Flight.
You can see the full discussion here.


"...in order for true forgiveness to occur, something has to die first. Your expectations, or your circumstances. Maybe your heart. And that can be painful. But it's also incredibly liberating." Do you agree?
I think, forgiveness and forgetting are two sides of the same coin. Unless you forget the hurt, it is difficult to forgive and to forgive someone for hurting you, one has to truly forget ... I think, it is very hard. - mayurij

"Identity is a strange thing. Are we who we say we are, or do we become the person others see?" What do you think?
I think people change with who they are around. Internally you are the same, but you might change your manner of speaking or the stories you tell to reflect the people near you. It seems to be a way of fitting in. - lc8558

Are there other authors or books that came to mind as you read The Last Flight that you'd compare this novel to?
The one that came to mind for me was The Gone Girl, where one of the characters is a disappearing wife. - kimk

Claire believes that Rory loves her "in his own broken way." Do you agree?
No. He shows personality typical abuser. I think family wealth helped to nurture that personality. - mayurij

Claire thinks that "in this world, money and power were equivalent to immunity." Do you think this is true? Why or why not?
I agree with Claire. Money and power can get you the best lawyers, the best health care, etc. - mildas

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Reviews

BookBrowse Review

BookBrowse

The novel is mostly character-driven, but it does have scenes of heart-stopping suspense that keep the pages flying late into the night. I can think of several instances where I literally gasped out loud at a particularly high-stress plot twist (and it was fun watching my spouse hit those same passages and have an identical reaction). The story isn't completely airtight — there are minor cases where an action or plot point doesn't seem entirely probable — but overall I found the novel highly entertaining and it was easy to overlook the negligible flaws. The Last Flight is the perfect antidote for summer malaise and makes a terrific "beach read."..continued

Full Review (571 words).

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(Reviewed by Kim Kovacs).

Media Reviews

New York Times
The Last Flight is thoroughly absorbing—not only because of its tantalizing plot and deft pacing, but also because of its unexpected poignancy and its satisfying, if bittersweet, resolution. The characters get under your skin.

Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
Propulsive prose drives Clark's tale of the intersecting lives of these two smart and resourceful women, and emphasis is placed on the importance of female friendship and support. Readers will surely find themselves hopelessly invested in Claire's and Eva's ultimate fates. A tense and engaging woman-centric thriller.

Publishers Weekly (starred review)
The moral dilemmas that the multifaceted, realistic characters face in their quest for survival lend weight to this pulse-pounding tale of suspense. Clark is definitely a writer to watch."

Author Blurb Aimee Molloy, New York Times bestselling author of The Perfect Mother
The Last Flight is everything you want in a book: a gripping story of suspense; haunting, vulnerable characters; and a chilling and surprising ending that stays with you long after the last page.

Author Blurb Kimberly Belle, internationally bestselling author of Dear Wife and The Marriage Lie
I'm a sucker for suspense stories crafted around an airplane crash, and Julie Clark's The Last Flight lived up to the hype and then some. Clark starts with a bang then keeps the pace at full throttle, deftly weaving two seemingly separate stories into one wild and entertaining ride. The perfect combination of beautiful prose and high suspense, and an ending that I guarantee will catch you off guard.

Author Blurb Kaira Rouda, internationally bestselling author of Best Day Ever and The Favorite Daughter
The Last Flight sweeps you into a thrilling story of two desperate women who will do anything to escape their lives. Both poignant and addictive, you'll race through the pages to the novel's chilling end. A must read of the summer!

Author Blurb Wendy Walker, nationally bestselling author of The Night Before
Strong women take center stage in this Breaking Bad meets Sleeping with the Enemy thriller. The Last Flight has it all - original characters, fast pacing, and clever twists, all in one explosive package!

Author Blurb Liz Fenton & Lisa Steinke, authors of The Two Lila Bennetts
The Last Flight will propel you headfirst into the frantic lives of two women, both determined to escape their current reality. Julie Clark weaves their stories effortlessly, delivering a pitch-perfect suspense novel that absolutely lives up to its hype. Do yourself a favor and pick this one up!

Author Blurb Kathleen Barber, author of Truth Be Told and Follow Me
Julie Clark's The Last Flight is a stunner: both a compelling, intricately woven tale of suspense and a thoughtful, nuanced portrayal of two very different women, each at a dangerous crossroads in her life. I couldn't turn the pages fast enough!"

Reader Reviews

Vivian Harrington

Loved it
I really enjoyed this book. It had some fascinating twists & turns. This is an interesting story of the lengths a woman will go to in order to escape from an abusive relationship.

Michael Colburn

A good book that lives with you long after your done
Oh I loved this book! Claire and Eva are both amazing women fighting through their own circumstances with such strength and purpose. From beginning to end you are captivated in this story. Such a creative plot that intertwines both lives and their ...   Read More

llani

Suspense is undeniable
In the age of covid-19, when we all would all like to escape to the moon, Julie Clark offers up the perfect remedy. Speeding forward like a locomotive, the book pulsates with the energy of a good suspense novel, while creating heart stealing ...   Read More

SjD

A Compelling Thriller
The Last Flight is a well written story of two separate women trying to escape the consequences of the decisions they have made. Chapters alternate between the characters and I found myself sympathizing with and hopeful that each of the them would ...   Read More

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Beyond the Book

The Evolution of Air Travel and Airport Security

Passenger plane in sky The action in Julie Clark's novel The Last Flight begins as two women decide to switch identities at an airport and each board the other's flight. One of the two airplanes crashes into the ocean before reaching its destination.

In 2019, over 4.5 billion trips were scheduled on commercial airplanes worldwide, and 1.1 billion of these were on airlines serving the United States either domestically or internationally. It's big business, too; as of 2019, statistics reported by the FAA stated that aviation contributed more than 5 percent of the U.S. gross domestic product, and approximately 10.6 million jobs in the country were being generated by the industry.

Following the first successful airplane flight made by Orville and Wilbur ...

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The Last Flight
by Julie Clark

The story of two women and one agonizing decision that will change the trajectory of both of their lives.

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