Be omnivorous, don't just read one kind of book, read everything. - Richard Wagamese

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Review: In Hovering Flight by Joyce Hinnefeld

Pages: 258 
Publisher: Unbridled Books 
Source: Publisher 

'In Hovering Flight' is an impressive debut novel about relationships. Relationships between lovers, friends and children. Addie Sturmer begins school studying to become a teacher, shortly before graduating she throws caution out the window and decides to paint and study birds. She no longer wants the stability of a teaching degree. One class seems to change the course of her life. She falls in love with her married professor, waits for his inevitable divorce and marries him shortly after. She gives birth to their daughter and together they follow their passions. Standing beside her are her best friends Cora and Lou. 

The novel begins with Addie succumbing from her second bout with cancer. After refusing treatment her daughter Scarlet has come to say goodbye. Addie has chosen to die at the home of her best friend Cora, afraid to taint the history of their home together and wanting to be surrounded by her friends. Cora, Lou, Scarlet and Tom reminisce about their final moments with Addie. Scarlet had the only parents who voluntarily worked on weekends and every chance they had.Their work was very much a part of their lives. They did not have a 9-5 job that they left at the office. Her father, a respected Ornithologist and mother a well known artist and environmentalist. Scarlet grew up feeling secondary in her parents lives. She never felt like she was their primary concern and her relationships with them became strained. She was named after a bird her mother loved to paint. Through conversations, memories and her mothers field journals, Scarlet begins to understand the woman she called her mother. The woman she felt was so different. Addie has asked for an illegal burial, together Scarlet and her father decide if they should honor her wishes or not. 

I really enjoyed this novel. I wasn't sure what to expect, and in the beginning was a little unsure if I would like it. Once I started to learn more about the characters, I was curious about their lives. I wanted to know more about Lou and Cora. I wanted to see how Tom and Addie's relationship grew. I wanted to know more about Scarlet and her secret. Each character's story was fascinating. The alternate perspectives allowed me to get to know each character. Hard to believe this is a debut novel, the writing is simply beautiful and accomplished.


  1. Sounds great, I love when a debut novel is really good. It makes me anxious to read the authors next book!

  2. Sounds a little mysterious with all the differnt chaarcters and POV's. Glad to know it didn't disappoint.

  3. I am glad you ended up liking it even if you were unsure at the start :)

  4. It sounds like the book won you over! It sounds fantastic to me.

  5. I have heard a lot of good things about this book, and am glad that you enjoyed it. It does sound like a moving story and one that is guaranteed to tug at the heartstrings. Wonderful and eloquent review today. I enjoyed it a lot!

  6. This is a new to me title.I love when a debut book is wonderful! Discovering a new author is like discovering a whole new world!

  7. This sounds like such a great debut. Thanks for putting it on my radar - I've never heard of it before!

  8. It sounds like a great book! Thanks for sharing, I'm adding it to my TBR pile. Wonderful review!

  9. I remember this book with great affection. I reviewed it when it was released in 2008 and recommended it to everyone. I haven't heard much about it in the last year or two though. I'm so glad you liked it too. My review if it interests you: http://freshinkbooks.blogspot.com/2008/09/in-hovering-flight-by-joyce-hinnefeld.html

    Her second novel is Stranger Here Below (2010). I have yet to read it but it got even better reviews than Hovering.