cover image Fly Away Home

Fly Away Home

Judith Kelman / Author Bantam Books $23.95 (320p) ISBN 978-0-5

A teacher who suspects that a young pupil is the victim of a toddler kidnapping takes a huge step in Kelman's (Prime Evil) hardcover debut. Beth Logan, a special-ed teacher in a New Hampshire private school, elects to return Pip, the headmaster's purported son, to Connecticut and the family to which she believes he was born. Beth is convinced by the lack of records in his file and the insinuations of a paranoid neighbor that Pip is actually Ethan Haskel, who, six years ago, disappeared mysteriously from his island home in Long Island Sound. But having reunited Pip with this strange extended family and having witnessed the patriarch's cruelty and the mother's nearly narcotic submissiveness, Beth realizes she must get the boy off the island and back to his home in New Hampshire. Kelman's coincidence-ridden, improbable tale asks readers to sympathize with a least likely heroine whose intentions do not redeem her bad judgment. (Dec.)