Paper Wings: Novel, A by Marly Swick
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
After recently reading Marly Swick's "Evening News" and liking it, I ordered "Paper Wings" and liked it, too. The year is 1963. Suzanne's family had just moved into their brand new house in Madison, Wisconsin, three years earlier, and things were looking rosy. Her mother had campaigned hard for John F. Kennedy in 1960, and between that and the move, seemed to be blossoming at last. Then Suzanne and her classmates are let out early from school one fateful day in November--you know the one--and she comes home to find her mother sitting on the floor crying in front of the television set, her hair half washed, and every channel showing the same news.
"Paper Wings" is a really skillful depiction of a time and a national mood, as well as of a particular family, all on the edge of changing forever. Suzanne's mother reverts to being moody, unstable, and depressed. Her optometrist father becomes more and more frustrated with her, and when she takes Suzanne on an ill-advised impromptu trip, in the middle of winter, to her hometown in Nebraska, a lot of disturbing history reveals itself.
Nothing is going to be the same for any of them, or for the nation at large. This story is about innocence--and balance--lost, all through the eyes of a young girl caught in the middle of forces beyond her control. I liked it a lot, and recommend it.
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