Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Length: 320 pages
First Published: 2022
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I received a complimentary copy of this book from the Ballantine Books through Netgalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
After her canceled wedding, Laurie Sassalyn returns to her Maine hometown to settle her great-aunt’s estate. Digging through her aunt’s house, Laurie is surprised to find an old love letter with a strange signoff and a gorgeous carved wooden duck. When the duck disappears under suspicious circumstances, Laurie dives into her great-aunt’s secrets and discovers what it means to make a life for yourself.
Flying Solo is a cute summer romance about discovering yourself in your midlife full of silly hijinx as Laurie fights to get back her aunt’s duck with the help of old friends and a handsome ex-boyfriend. Holmes’s story heavily relies on the concept of an alternate happily ever after, showcasing that marriage is not for everyone.
A woman returns to her small Maine hometown, uncovering family secrets that take her on a journey of self-discovery and new love, in this warm and charming novel from the New York Times bestselling author of Evvie Drake Starts Over.
Smarting from her recently canceled wedding and about to turn forty, Laurie Sassalyn returns to her Maine hometown of Calcasset to handle the estate of her great-aunt Dot, a spirited adventurer who lived to be ninety-three. Alongside boxes of Polaroids and pottery, a mysterious wooden duck shows up at the bottom of a cedar chest. Laurie’s curiosity is piqued, especially after she finds a love letter to the never-married Dot that ends with the line “And anyway, if you’re ever desperate, there are always ducks, darling.”
Laurie is told that the duck has no financial value. But after it disappears under suspicious circumstances, she feels compelled to figure out why anyone would steal a wooden duck—and why Dot kept it hidden away in the first place. Suddenly Laurie finds herself swept up in a righteous caper that has her negotiating with antiques dealers and con artists, going on after-hours dates at the local library, and reconnecting with her oldest friend and her first love. Desperate to uncover her great-aunt’s secrets, Laurie must reckon with her own past and her future—and ultimately embrace her own vision of flying solo.
With a cast of unforgettable characters and a heroine you will root for from page one, Flying Solo is a wonderfully original story about growing up, coming home, and learning to make a life for yourself on your own terms.
About Linda Holmes
Linda Holmes is an NPR correspondent, host of the podcast Pop Culture Happy Hour, and an author whose works include Evvie Drake Starts Over and Flying Solo. Visit the author’s website →
Linda Holmes is a podcast host, writer, radio maker, interviewer, Twitter liker, Twitter fearer, former lawyer, one-time college a cappella singer, occasional bread baker, photography dabbler, and very lucky weirdo (her own word).
She’s a correspondent at NPR and the host of Pop Culture Happy Hour, their roundtable culture and entertainment podcast. She’s worked with most of the radio shows they have in some capacity: She’s talked about pop culture on All Things Considered, Morning Edition, and Weekend Edition. She once spent a week writing for Wait Wait, Don’t Tell Me, took a turn guest-hosting Jesse Thorn’s wonderful interview show Bullseye, and did a terrible job answering questions about music on a bonus episode of Ask Me Another. She does local live radio whenever she gets the chance.