the next good book

Fly Me

By Daniel Riley


389 pages

What’s it about? This novel is set in the early 1970’s in Sela del Mar- right outside of L.A.  Suzy Whitman has recently graduated from Vassar and follows her older sister Grace out to L.A. to join her as a stewardess.  Suzy meets Billy Zar, the quintessential California boy, and her life takes off in a direction she is not expecting.What did it make me think about? This book is as much about Southern California in the 70’s as it is about Suzy Whitman.  Mr. Riley does a great job of portraying a particular time and place. Should I read it? Some critics loved this one- I have to wonder why?  This book is so wordy you just become exhausted.  The plot gets lost in all those words!“And the whole two-shot with this saltwater towhead, and even that silly mustache, a separate entity in itself; the picture seems too dim at the edges, a Vaseline lens, the effect of motion blur.”It is as if Daniel Riley took a descriptive writing class and decided to show off his prowess.  Not only is the writing too much but the plot goes off the rails as well.  I loved the promise of this book much more than the final product. Quote- “Just imagine how that view might register in the body of someone still getting used to living at the ocean.  How it might bleach her judgement, boost her nerve, and lead her to places she never meant to go.”

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