“Fly Away” by Lynn Austin

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Wilhelmina Brewster has been a college music professor for 41 years, devoting her life to her career and never marrying. Now, after her forced retirement at age 65, she is mourning her loss and searching for something to fill the empty hours. Widower Mike Dolan is a pilot and World War II veteran who has always lived life to the fullest. When medical tests confirm that his cancer has returned, he makes plans to take a final flight in his airplane rather than become a burden to his family. Wilhelmina accidentally learns of Mike’s final plans, and when she discovers that he isn’t a believer, she knows it’s her Christian duty to talk with him about her faith. But although she has been a lifelong Christian, she feels totally inadequate for the task of witnessing to an unbeliever.
Mike and Wilhelmina are two very different people—one figuring out how to live, the other how to die. Yet they will find themselves journeying together as they search for answers to life, loss and faith in God.

Fly Away

Fly Away is a poignant tale about the circle of life.  We spend most of our days spinning our wheels, caught up in ‘stuff’ that has no eternal significance, and most of us are too afraid to be real, even with our friends. 

Austin calls us on it.  Mike doesn’t want to waste a moment of his life, but Wilhemina doesn’t know how to do anything else.  Austin explores this dichotomy while probing Wilhemina’s fears.  I admire Mike’s strengths and the way that they complement each other.  They made a uniquely suited couple, if only for a few months.

So death and eternal life are deep topics, and that’s exactly what Austin writes – a book with the spiritual depth of the Mariana Trench.  There are life lessons and spiritual lessons to be learned here, and yet it’s not a depressing book.  I found myself cheering on both main characters, and while I was sad for Mike, Austin keeps the mood from becoming completely glum.  Instead, it’s quite provocative as the reader will identify with both Mike and Wilhemina in turn.

Fly Away isn’t a fluffy beach read – but it is an enjoyable one, and one you’ll be very glad to read.

I received a free copy of this book from the author.  All opinions are my own.

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