The Four Corners of the Sky

Michael Malone, Author . Sourcebooks Landmark $24.99 (544p) ISBN 978-1-57071-744-4

A daredevil pilot heads out on a wild goose chase and learns to slow down and enjoy life in Malone's (The Last Noel ) exuberant but ultimately unwieldy 10th novel. After years of accompanying her con artist father on his exploits, seven-year-old Annie is left on the family's North Carolina farm with her aunt Sam. Annie relishes the stability, but still craves excitement as she grows up, learning to fly the single-engine plane her father left her and becoming a navy fighter pilot. When her father calls years later, he claims that he's dying and needs her help with one last escapade. She agrees—in exchange for the name of the mother she's never known. Annie travels to St. Louis, Mo.; Miami; and Cuba in the service of her elusive father, meeting quirky eccentrics along the way, including her one true love. Bizarre coincidences, caricatured criminals and characters who spurt groan-worthy puns, classic movie lines and Shakespeare quotes in place of meaningful dialogue keep the novel teetering toward the absurd. The novel's ambitious blend of humor, mystery, adventure and sentimentality can be as exhausting as Annie's fast-paced flights. (May)

Reviewed on: 03/16/2009
Release date: 05/01/2009
Genre: Fiction
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