Loss of Flight

Sara Vogan, Author Bantam Books $19 (432p) ISBN 978-0-553-34580-3
This lengthy novel seems unfinished, requiring a sharper focus in some spots and greater subtlety elsewhere. The plot revolves around a week in the lives of an unconventional psychiatrist, Max Bodine, and his patients (whom he sees outside the office only, lest they enter ``with a prepared story to tell to a captive audience''): Elaine Lifton, an 18-year-old who attempts an unconvincingly motivated suicide by amputating both hands with a table saw; her neighbor Katlyn Whiston, whose gay husband has just died; and Katlyn's married lover, Royce Chambers, who has been given a week to choose between Katlyn and his family. Implausible coincidences and the utterly contrived urgency of Royce's ultimatum are such frivolous touches that the reader may wonder if this is perhaps a miscarried comedy, but the larding of the novel with pseudo-aphorisms (e.g., ``We do things we can't explain as easily as we do things we don't understand'') has a correspondingly imbalanced portentousness. Vogan ( In Shelly's Leg ) demonstrates a fertile imagination in her characterization of Katlyn, but this evidence of her talents is insufficiently redemptive. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 02/27/1989
Release date: 03/01/1989
Prebound-Sewn - 978-1-4177-1555-8
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