Flight Patterns. Karen White. Penguin Publishing Group. May 2016. 416 pp. ISBN#: 9780451470911.
Georgia Chambers has found pleasure in developing her antiques business, keeping busy in order to keep some very bad memories out of the forefront of her consciousness. That’s all about to change as James Graf hires her to find a certain tea cup painted with bees to complete a set missing this piece. Although Georgia is an expert on Limoges china, she also is quite knowledgeable about other fine china, particularly those unique handcrafted types that are extremely valuable. The piece James describes to her brings back such a powerful memory that she pales and feels like she’s suffocating. For she knows she must now return to her hometown in Florida to seek this china teacup, and she’s coerced into allowing James to accompany her.
The time spent in Apalachicola, Florida will be life-changing for the sisters, Georgia and Maisy, their grandmother Birdie, Maisy’s daughter Becky, Grandpa, James and his sister Caroline and other characters from Europe who are part of this intriguing family history. The story is complex and intense but evolves to the point where the family secrets of each character are revealed, real and imagined wrongdoings are faced and somewhat and then completely forgiven, silence and oblivion are removed once truth is embraced, the finding of journals as well as post cards and honey forces questions to be answered and so much more that is perfectly woven together at just the right pace.
Every chapter begins with a quote about the life of bees, specifically describing how they interact and their functions at different times of their lives. These additional lines literally and figuratively foreshadow what follows in each chapter – a charming extra touch!
Karen White is a highly skilled writer whose fiction just keeps getting better and better! If this is your first novel by her, you’re in for a treat! You’ll probably want to read her other works as well. For the threads of secrets and memories keep the characters from being stereotypical, the plot is both simple and complex, and the tension is relieved by warm and tender moments in all the right places.
Wonderful, light (somewhat) fiction that this reviewer highly recommends as a great read at any time of year! Thanks to the publisher, Penguin, who provided this novel in return for an honest review!